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Re: Think before you write Semantic Web crawlers

From: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 10:41:07 +0200
Cc: semantic-web@w3.org, public-lod@w3.org
Message-Id: <B93EE2BD-5EBC-419E-93C2-88D8417976AA@bblfish.net>
To: Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>
A solution to stupid crawlers would be to put the linked data behind https endpoints, and use WebID 
for authentication. You could still allow everyone access, but at least you would force the crawler to identify 
himself, and use these WebIDs to learn who was making the crawler. This could then be used as a piece of the evaluation of the quality of a semantic web stack.

Henry

10 minute intro to WebID http://bblfish.net/blog/2011/05/25/ (in browsers, but the browser is not really necessary)

On 21 Jun 2011, at 09:49, Martin Hepp wrote:

> Hi all:
> 
> For the third time in a few weeks, we had massive complaints from site-owners that Semantic Web crawlers from Universities visited their sites in a way close to a denial-of-service attack, i.e., crawling data with maximum bandwidth in a parallelized approach.
> 
> It's clear that a single, stupidly written crawler script, run from a powerful University network, can quickly create terrible traffic load. 
> 
> Many of the scripts we saw
> 
> - ignored robots.txt,
> - ignored clear crawling speed limitations in robots.txt,
> - did not identify themselves properly in the HTTP request header or lacked contact information therein, 
> - used no mechanisms at all for limiting the default crawling speed and re-crawling delays.
> 
> This irresponsible behavior can be the final reason for site-owners to say farewell to academic/W3C-sponsored semantic technology.
> 
> So please, please - advise all of your colleagues and students to NOT write simple crawler scripts for the billion triples challenge or whatsoever without familiarizing themselves with the state of the art in "friendly crawling".
> 
> Best wishes
> 
> Martin Hepp
> 

Social Web Architect
http://bblfish.net/
Received on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 08:41:49 UTC

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