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Re: See Other

From: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 10:44:54 +0000
To: public-lod community <public-lod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EMEW3|f49f28aed2b81b1769770878887a3e8eo2RBiw02hg|ecs.soton.ac.uk|65D59CDD-309A-417C-A2F9-D032AA143391@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Executive summary:
TAG, please don't come back with something that does not allow, or even encourage, sites like Facebook to offer RDF back in return for: 
curl -L -H Accept:application/rdf+xml https://www.facebook.com/hugh.glaser

Challenge: Try telling me what to put in sameAs.org for the LD URI for you on Facebook.

Detail:
I support Jeni et al.'s Proposal, because it is an improvement, and seems to have some chance of success.
Actually, I am pretty sure I align with Giovanni and his ilk.
My preference is to lose the whole thing (and these discussions!) - but there is no point, I think, in proposing that because it has no chance of success.

When people talk about "users", they seem to mean developers.
The users I think of are the eyeballs that look at and manipulate the stuff on their screens, usually in a browser.
Also, when a posting on this list has:
"Well, if I wanted to do this, " or "Imagine…"
my own eyeballs sort of glaze over.
Well, there have been 6 years to do it or for someone else to actually feel the need to do it - if it hasn't blazed a trail in the huge range of Linked Data-enabled applications (irony intended) being used by users out there, then it probably isn't a very important use case.

My slightly shorter story (thanks Dan, that was great, and I read the whole thing!) involves Facebook as a LD site.
In fact, I think this story is complementary to Dan's, as it gives some view of the experience that Bob's users will get after Alice's consultation and the subsequent implementation.
This actually happened to me last night.
Recalling that I now have a LD ID on Facebook, I go to Facebook and get my ID (well, I think of it as my ID, and it's what I give anyone if they ask for a link to "me").
https://www.facebook.com/hugh.glaser
(I could stop there, as we all know I already have a problem, but …)
Being a brave little chap, before putting it in my signature as one of my LD IDs, I decide to check that this is OK, by pasting it into something that wants a LD ID, such as the W3C validator (in this case I use curl -H Accept:application/rdf+xml).
It actually gave a 200, so it must be OK, right?
Of course, this doesn't validate because the URI actually does 302 -> 200 and returns text/html in response to my curl.
506 would have been possibly less helpful, by the way.
So I am done - nothing I can do now.

However, being not only brave, but also intrepid, I start googling for support.
I eventually (it wasn't easy), find that I should be using graph instead of www.
With excitement, I try
curl -i -L -H Accept:application/rdf+xml https://graph.facebook.com/hugh.glaser
Close, but no cigar.
I get text/javascript back.
More digging (I'll spare you the details)...
curl -i -L -H Accept:text/turtle https://graph.facebook.com/hugh.glaser
I cannot contain my excitement; I have some RDF at last!
So I can use https://graph.facebook.com/hugh.glaser as my Facebook LD ID.
Er, not quite.
The turtle this returns is
</720591128#>
	user:id "720591128" ;
Ah yes, I knew I had a numeric ID, 720591128 - so it being late I guess my LD ID is https://graph.facebook.com/720591128
Of course, er no, not quite again.
I suddenly notice a little # lurking in the turtle.
So I finally decide that the URI I should put in my signature is
https://graph.facebook.com/720591128#
Of course, this is sufficiently ugly, compared with https://www.facebook.com/hugh.glaser
that I don't bother, and go to bed.

Now I'm not saying that the TAG is going to solve all these issues.
And there are lots of issues about 303 and # and RDFa …

But I think this is a real Use Case for a user, which should mean that the developer who provides this system (Facebook) is a Use Case for the TAG.
I could have gone through a very similar process with almost any Linked Data site, such as ePrints, myexperiment and dbpdedia (including my own, such as RKBExplorer) - it just happened I wanted Facebook last night.
And Linked Data people go around saying hows exciting it is that Facebook is offering Linked Data - I can't possibly use this as an example to a customer, such as Dan's Bob.

This whole experience is just crap.
If I had trouble with this, exactly what does Facebook expect a normal user to do?
I'm sure we can point out ways in which Facebook might have done things better, but that is not the point.
Can they actually make it easy for users using the current or proposed standards?

TAG, please don't come back with something that does not allow, or even encourage, sites like Facebook to offer RDF back in return for: 
curl -H Accept:application/rdf+xml https://www.facebook.com/hugh.glaser

Best
Hugh
PS
I left the https in, because that is actually what cut and paste gave me.
I'm guessing that would have been a whole new thread.

PPS
If you read through to here, or even if you just skipped to here, then if you really do send me your Facebook LD URI (along with one of more other ones to pair it with), I will drop everything and put them in sameAs.org :-)

-- 
Hugh Glaser,  
             Web and Internet Science
             Electronics and Computer Science,
             University of Southampton,
             Southampton SO17 1BJ
Work: +44 23 8059 3670, Fax: +44 23 8059 3045
Mobile: +44 75 9533 4155 , Home: +44 23 8061 5652
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~hg/
Received on Wednesday, 28 March 2012 10:45:30 UTC

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