W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lod@w3.org > February 2013

Re: Content negotiation for Turtle files

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2013 08:02:55 -0500
Message-ID: <5112547F.6050700@openlinksw.com>
To: public-lod@w3.org
On 2/6/13 6:45 AM, Richard Light wrote:
> On 06/02/2013 10:59, Bernard Vatant wrote:
>> More ??? Well, I was heading the other way round actually for sake of 
>> simplicity. As said before I've used RDF/XML for years despite all 
>> criticisms, and was happy with it (the devil you know etc). What I 
>> understand of the current trend is that to ease RDF and linked data 
>> adoption we should promote now this simple, both human-readable and 
>> machine-friendly publication syntax (Turtle). And having tried it for 
>> a while, I now begin to be convinced enough as to adopt it in 
>> publication - thanks to continuing promotion by Kingsley among others :)
>> And now you tell me I should still bother to provide n other formats, 
>> RDF/XML and more. I thought I was about to simplify my life, you tell 
>> me I have to make the simple things, *plus* the more complex ones as 
>> before. Hmm.
> Well I for one would make a plea to keep RDF/XML in the portfolio. 
> Turtle is only machine-processible if you happen to have a Turtle 
> parser in your tool box.
> I'm quite happily processing Linked Data resources as XML, using only 
> XSLT and a forwarder which adds Accept headers to an HTTP request. It 
> thereby allows me to grab and work with LD content (including SPARQL 
> query results) using the standard XSLT document() function.
> In a web development context, JSON would probably come second for me 
> as a practical proposition, in that it ties in nicely with 
> widely-supported javascript utilities.
> To me, Turtle is symptomatic of a world in which people are still 
> writing far too many Linked Data examples and resources by hand, and 
> want something that is easier to hand-write than RDF/XML.  I don't 
> really see how that fits in with the promotion of the idea of 
> machine-processible web-based data.
> Richard
> -- 
> *Richard Light*

If people can't express data by hand we are on a futile mission. The era 
of over bearing applications placing artificial barriers between users 
and their data is over. Just as the same applies to overbearing schemas 
and database management systems.

This isn't about technology for programmers. Its about technology for 
everyone. Just as everyone is able to write on a piece of paper today, 
as a mechanism for expressing and sharing data, information, and knowledge.

It is absolutely mandatory that folks be able to express triple based 
statements (propositions) by hand. This is the key to making Linked Data 
and the broader Semantic Web vision a natural reality.

We have to remember that content negotiation (implicit or explicit) is a 
part of this whole deal.

Vapour was built at a time when RDF/XML was the default format of 
choice. That's no longer the case, but it doesn't mean RDF/XML is dead 
either, its just means its no longer the default. As I've said many 
times, RDF/XML is the worst and best thing that ever happened to the 
Semantic Web vision. Sadly, the worst aspect has dominated the terrain 
for years and created artificial inertia by way of concept obfuscation.

If your consumer prefers data in RDF/XML format then it can do one of 
the following:

1. Locally transform the Turtle to RDF/XML -- assuming this is all you 
can de-reference from a given URI
2. Transform the Turtle to RDF/XML via a transformation service (these 
exist and they are RESTful) -- if your user agent can't perform the 

The subtleties of Linked Data are best understood via Turtle.



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, 6 February 2013 13:03:22 UTC

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