W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lod@w3.org > March 2011

Re: Design issues 5-star data section tidy up

From: Egon Willighagen <egon.willighagen@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 08:48:51 +0100
Message-ID: <AANLkTinAVsDe1Xei9dY4wmuvRhJsKQzSKfNxBcfhmEd0@mail.gmail.com>
To: Christopher Gutteridge <cjg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Cc: Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, Bill Roberts <bill@swirrl.com>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Hi Christopher,

On Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 8:27 AM, Christopher Gutteridge
<cjg@ecs.soton.ac.uk> wrote:
> "Is that bad? For Linked Data to be useful, you need to be able to mix and
> share.". Sorry but that's simply not true. For it to be useful *to you*,
> perhaps, but (Closed) Linked Data still has massive value as a technology
> and not all data should or can be fully open!

Data consumption is indeed a 'use' too. Like watching the Simpsons.
Sorry for being sloppy there. There most certainly is a place and use
for Linked (Closed) Data.

> Linking and Openness are two unrelated, but great, things to do but you can
> do them independently. There is still value in data which is Linked but not
> entirely or even slightly open.
> Open is the gold standard, but it's not the only form of Linked Data.

Indeed not. And apologies for implying that Linked Data is bad in
itself. It simply disallows certain important use cases, which is what
I wanted to say.

> There's a massive value to companies to produce Linked Intranets which will
> link and use open data from outside, but certainly not be open.

Linked Data often needs dedicated, often individual licensing to keep
things going. While inefficient, there is a valid choice.

> At the heart of our university are lectures. From a Linked data perspective,
> these are a motherlode of linkage. A lecture is the nexus point joining: A
> room, eg. <http://id.southampton.ac.uk/room/59-1257> with a lecturer, eg.
> <http://id.ecs.soton.ac.uk/person/60> with a number of students, with the
> URI of a Module
> <http://data.southampton.ac.uk/module/COMP1004/2010-2011.html> and the
> specific instance of that module
> <http://id.southampton.ac.uk/module-instance/10622/2010-2011> and resources
> for that lecture <http://www.edshare.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/455> . However,
> unlike most of our other data, it would take a huge policy decision to make
> this information freely available, but I can still make it available in a
> closed form to a student or staff member, upon authentication, which means
> that they can still have it on an iphone app / google calendar etc.

So, can a student actually start a cool webservice where students can
mashup their classes with FaceBook? They will be redistributing the
data. Are they allowed? Are they allowed to fix errors and share
those? Are they allowed to make some profit out of it, to pay for the
Amazon EC2 hosting? If your data is not Open, they cannot.

> Linked is a technology.
> Open is an ideology.

I do not think that is true. Instead, I see them as both technologies:
they are both inventions to make things possible.

> Right now <http://id.southampton.ac.uk/dataset/eprints> is technically
> should get ZERO stars as it's very complex to work out what license we have
> the right to use.

And why is that? It sounds to me this is because your upstream data
provider is zero star? Should a star-rating system fail (or ideals
change), because the UK law system is, umm, akward?

> Some of the abstracts of papers may legally belong to
> publishers and it may be OK for us to publish and distribute tham as data,
> but not to grant licenses on something we don't own.

Well, I'd be the last to say the current publishing practices are
technologically working efficiently :) I've ranted enough about that
in my blog.

> This dataset is on two
> journeys, one ends with an open license (silver to gold), one with it
> getting fully linked into the data web (* to *****). They converge at the
> heady heights of 5 gold-star fully linked and open data.

I fully understand how hard it is to not be able to join the party,
because your data providers are not cooperating, as they limit you
what to do with their data. But I feel bad about that deciding what
our ideals should be.

Instead, I would suggest SOTON to split data sets, and makes parts of
it Open (those for which it can), and make the Closed bits separately
available as Closed. That way, you still get your FIVE stars.

See, 'Open' is a technology: the fact that some closed data
"copylefts" the whole package doesn't sounds like an ideological, but
really a technological (legal) problem to me. But this can be simply
overcome to make them separately available, I think, just like Bio2RDF
and others do.


Dr E.L. Willighagen
Postdoctoral Researcher
Institutet för miljömedicin
Karolinska Institutet
Homepage: http://egonw.github.com/
LinkedIn: http://se.linkedin.com/in/egonw
Blog: http://chem-bla-ics.blogspot.com/
PubList: http://www.citeulike.org/user/egonw/tag/papers
Received on Thursday, 10 March 2011 07:49:48 UTC

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