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Inclusion of additional (non dereferencable) data?

From: Nathan <nathan@webr3.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 16:24:20 +0100
Message-ID: <4C1103A4.1030309@webr3.org>
To: Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>

Here's a common example of what I'm referring to, suppose we have a 
(foaf) document http://ex.org/bobsmith which includes the following triples:

   :me foaf:knows <http://example.org/joe_bloggs#me> .

   <http://example.org/joe_bloggs#me> a foaf:Person ;
     foaf:name "Joe Bloggs"@en .

In Linked Data terms one could suggest that the description of Joe 
Bloggs doesn't 'belong' in this document (although clearly it can be here).

I can quite easily see how trend came about, there are benefits, it's 
both an optimisation method (saves dereferencing) and it's an inclusion 
of human presentable information (which aids display / comprehension in 
'foaf viewers').

However, there are drawbacks too, the data could easily go out of date / 
out of sync, it's not dereferencable (the adverse effects in this 
example aren't specifically clear, but in other use-cases they are 

Over and above these simple thoughts, I'm quite sure that there are 
bigger architectural and best practise considerations (for a web of 
data), for example:

  - does this create an environment where we are encouraged not to 
deference linked data (or where it is common to look local first)

  - does this point to bigger issues such as not having a single global 
predicate for a default human presentable 'name' for all things that can 
be 'named' (given a URI) - even though many candidates are available.

  - should 'reading ahead' (dereferencing all linked data before 
presentation to a user / trying to glean an understanding) be encouraged 
over providing a limited local subset of the data which could easily be 
inaccurate or out of date.

  - is there an gut instinct in the community that most data will 
ultimately end up being presented to a human somewhere along the line, 
and this is driving us to make such design decisions.

Any thoughts or strong feelings on the issue(s)? and is anybody aware of 
whether this practise came about more by accident than by design?


Received on Thursday, 10 June 2010 15:25:25 UTC

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