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Re: Terminology when talking about Linked Data

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 21:09:15 +0100
Message-Id: <F47C1CD2-02B0-4FB3-94EB-1261EAE4A839@danbri.org>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: Damian Steer <d.steer@bristol.ac.uk>, Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>, "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>

On 17 Feb 2010, at 18:14, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us> wrote:

> On Feb 17, 2010, at 6:37 AM, Dan Brickley wrote:
>> ... . RDF was originally
>> standardised as a metadata system, a mechanism for finding stuff ...
>> whether that stuff was photos, videos, HTML pages, excel  
>> spreadsheets,
>> SQL databases, 3d models. ...
> Really? That was not the impression I got when I first got involved  
> with it. In fact, I asked explicitly for clarification, at the first  
> F2F in Sebastopol: is RDF intended to be metadata for Web 'objects',  
> or is it supposed to be a notation for describing **things in  
> general**? And the resounding chorus from the WG was the latter,  
> most definitely not the former. (Which is also what Guha told me  
> right after the very first RDF speclet was first released.) And that  
> is why I designed the semantics based on a logical model theory  
> rather than a computational annotation system. If RDF was supposed  
> to be primarily a mechanism for finding stuff, then we designed it  
> wrong.

The original use cases were various flavours of 'metadata'; however  
that concept melts on closer inspection. We did the right thing by  
going with a general system; but we did lose touch a bit with some of  
the original scenarios which motivated W3C to standardise RDF in '97.  
MCF and RDF were never themselves technologies with a built-in scope  
of 'describing only data', and that was all fine and good. Whenever  
you dig into 'metadata' requirements you soon find that the whole  
world is soon in-scope. The gamble of course with a highly general  
standard is that it can be used in-principle for *everything* but  
risks in practice being used for nothing. It took us a while to find  
that niche...


> Pat
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Received on Wednesday, 17 February 2010 20:09:34 UTC

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