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Re: Simple Linked Data Publishing For Non Programmers

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2012 17:27:21 -0400
Message-ID: <501064B9.3080701@openlinksw.com>
To: public-lod@w3.org
On 7/25/12 4:45 PM, Michael Brunnbauer wrote:
> Hello Kingsley,
> On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 01:31:32PM -0400, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
>> One of the fundamental misconceptions about Linked Data is the
>> assumption that Web-scale publication is a complex process, utterly
>> beyond the capabilities of end-users that are already capable of
>> creating, editing, and saving a document to a local or network drive.
>> I've written a detailed post [1] showcasing how anyone can publish
>> Linked Data via a Turtle document ...
> I showed your post to my wife - who has been working in online publishing for
> more than 10 years. She has worked with many web content management systems
> and is able to read and write HTML markup.


> Like I expected, she lost you in the second paragraph.

Okay, and what exactly was that?

>   Maybe she would be able
> to learn linked data like she learned HTML - the hard way.

HTML isn't the route here, really. The journey is all about structured 
data representation using hyperlinks as a denotation and data access 

>   But it would in
> fact be much harder because this time, she would have no reason to learn it
> and no tool to try out changes and see immediate *results*.

Again, I beg to differ. If she has any desire to for her work to be 
discovered serendipitously without the markup tedium of HTML then Turtle 
is a potential short cut.

My example may actually be a little verbose re. Turtle, so how about 
telling her to adapt the following to her situation and then upload to a 
DropBox or Amazon S3 bucket (I've left the others out since they require 
a proxy due to mime type handling problems):

## Don't touch any of this
@prefix owl:  <http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#> .
@prefix foaf: <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/> .
@prefix rdfs: <http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#> .
@prefix wdrs: <http://www.w3.org/2007/05/powder-s#> .
@prefix opl: <http://www.openlinksw.com/schemas/cert#> .
@prefix cert: <http://www.w3.org/ns/auth/cert#> .
@prefix : <#> .

## Who Are You?

:this foaf:name "{enter-your-firstname-and-lastname-here}" .
:this foaf:firstName "{first-name}" .
:this foaf:familyName "{last-name}" .
:this foaf:nick "{nick-name}" .

## Some Web Pages You Have Already

:this foaf:page {Twitter-Home-Page-URL} .
:this foaf:page {Facebook-Home-Page-URL} .
:this foaf:page {G+-Home-Page-URL} . .
:this foaf:page {LinkedIn-Home-Page-URL} .
:this foaf:page {Personal-Blog-Home-Page-URL} .

## Done ##

I am also going to repeat this test with my Wife.
> Giovanni Tummarello recently summarized it all very good recently:
>   http://www.mail-archive.com/public-lod@w3.org/msg11194.html

Well, Giovanni speaks of a specific scenario and then applies it to 
Linked Data generically. There are no situations where that approach 
actually reflects broad reality about Linked Data.

> We have to be honest with ourselves about this technology. Whose problems does
> it solve ?

I am going to give you a simple answer, one I am sure I've given in the 
past re. Linked Data.

Problem: structured data representation, access, and integration across 
disparate data sources.

Solution: Use the power of the well known entity-attribute-value model, 
enhanced with URI based hyperlinks, to address structured data 
representation, access, and integration.

Remember what structured data actually is, how its expressed, and 
transmitted over a network. Then remember that entity-attribute-value 
modelling has historically provided a solution to real-world data 
modelling albeit challenged in the realm of scalability. Incorporate 
de-refrencable URIs as a denotation/naming mechanism for the entity, 
attribute, and value (optionally) slots which then makes the structured 
data webby. Remember to have each URI (as is the case with the Web 
already) resolve to useful information, ideally to documents bearing 
structured content in the same entity-attribute-value structure.

What not to do:

Start the narrative with the letters RDF (even if you know RDF is really 
about EAV/CR + URIs en route to relationship semantics embellishments 
from the likes of RDFS and OWL).

>   Who can understand it ?

Very simple, but that depends "who" is "whom" . Anyway, assuming the 
basic user of a computer that has saved a Word Document and an Excel 
Spreadsheet, you can explain as follows:

The HTML dominated Web of today is like a using Microsoft Word with the 
ability to use hyperlinks to refer to other Word Docs (on your local 
machine or network) via hyperlinks.

The Linked Data aspect of the Web is like using Microsoft Excel with the 
ability to refer to cells by row-by-column coordinates (addresses) or by 
cell names. Linked Data is about resources that are like spreadsheets 
with hyperlink based references that also enable you refer to other 
cells (by address or name) in other spreadsheets across workbooks, other 
local spreadsheets, remote spreadsheets on your local area network, and 
the internet.

> Are the tools usable in practise ?

Of course they are. But I can't force you to accept that fundamental 
point even though there's been ample evidence of that since 2007.

> My
> answers to these questions are not optimistic.

Mine will always be.
> I understand that all these answers can change with time and some day we may
> have the bright future you are seeing.

Question for you, if you don't mind. Which of the following are useless, 
by virtue of questionable tools and/or utility comprehension?

1. World Wide Web
2. ODBC (Open Database Connectivity)
3. Java Database Connectivity (JDBC)
4. Microsoft Entity Frameworks (a component of ADO.NET)
5. X.500 Directories
6. Hyperlinks
7. URIs.

> But I would not take that for granted.
> There is much work to do.

There is always much work to do. Otherwise, our innovation continuum 
will come to a grinding halt :-)
> Regards,
> Michael Brunnbauer



Kingsley Idehen	
Founder & CEO
OpenLink Software
Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca handle: @kidehen
Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/112399767740508618350/about
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen

Received on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 21:26:48 UTC

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