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Re: Semantics of rdfs:seeAlso (Was: Is it best practices to use a rdfs:seeAlso link to a potentially multimegabyte PDF?)

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2011 12:17:01 -0500
To: Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>
Cc: Linked Open Data <public-lod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1294939021.2610.27030.camel@dbooth-laptop>
FWIW, I also agree with Martin's comments.  It is the client's
responsibility to decide what to retrieve and accept:

1. The definition of rdfs:seeAlso very clearly states that "When such
representations may be retrieved, no constraints are placed on the
format of those representations."

2. Only the client can know what formats and how much data it wants.  

3. The HTTP protocol already provides content negotiation and HEAD
features to allow a client to find out what formats and data quantity
are available before retrieving the data.  

4. There is no hard and fast distinction between RDF data and non-RDF
data.  With the right de-serialization, *any* machine readable data can
be viewed as RDF.  This is not only what GRDDL does with plain XML, but
it is inherent to RDF itself, because RDF is a data model -- not a
syntax.  If the client can de-serialized from a particular format to
RDF, then the document can be viewed as RDF, regardless of whether it
can *also* be viewed as something else.  (After all, n3 can *also* be
viewed as plain text.)

IMO, if there are clients that ignore available HTTP features and
blindly retrieve large quantities of data that they cannot consume, then
those clients should be improved.

David Booth, Ph.D.

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of his employer.
Received on Thursday, 13 January 2011 17:17:31 UTC

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