W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdf-wg@w3.org > October 2012

Re: Potential Formal Object from DERI over JSON-LD

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 21:07:53 -0500
Cc: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, RDF WG <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <759A3D9F-2956-4F9E-8492-199DB9BA7409@ihmc.us>
To: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>

On Oct 22, 2012, at 5:02 AM, Richard Cyganiak wrote:

> Pat,
> 
> On 22 Oct 2012, at 04:59, Pat Hayes wrote:
>> I would be very interested to discover what y'all consider the be the definition of Linked Data. Can you provide a pointer to where this can be found? Thanks in advance.
> 
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linked_Data

This is completely vacuous, almost a textbook example of a Wikipedia article that is free of content (there are quite a number of them.) For example, it begins, " linked data describes a method of publishing structured data" but it then does not tell us what this "method" actually is. Which is what my query was asking for. What actually IS "linked data"? If I were shown some data, or a data storage scheme of some kind, how would I know if it were an example of linked data? How would I tell? What criteria would I use to detect the presence of "linkedness" in the data? (Can anyone give me an example of data that is not linked data, and tell me why it isn't? That would be a start.) 

> 
> Trying to nail it down much tighter than that is counter-productive.

Then it is an empty phrase devoid of meaning. I do not actually believe this, by the way: I think that the linked data world is actually doing something. I'm still not sure what it is exactly, however. 

> I learned this the hard way a couple of years ago, when foolishly trying to stop people who were “doing Linked Data with Atom” from using the LD term.
> 
> One can obviously do Linked Data with RDF, and that's by far the most popular approach. RDF is well-suited to that task, and it's the community where the LD term first emerged. W3C's LDP-WG is currently writing a specification that has more details for that.
> 
> JSON-LD is an attempt at creating a format that allows doing Linked Data with JSON.

That is great, but how would anyone know that this is what they were in fact doing? Does just using JSON + using URIs make it linked data? Apparently not, according to the Wikipedia article, which says that linked data pre-dates URIs. So what is it that makes the linked magic happen? 

Pat


> That's great. However, there's a thin line between saying “we enable LD with JSON” and “JSON-LD is how you do LD”. The JSON-LD spec really ought to say only the first thing, but slips into implying the second too often.
> 
> Attempting to enforce a particular implementation technology for Linked Data, be it RDF or JSON or Atom or Microdata or whatever, doesn't work. This is what Kingsley keeps repeating on a daily basis, and he's right.
> 
> The fact that a JSON-LD document also can be parsed to an RDF graph is mostly orthogonal to this.
> 
> Best,
> Richard
> 

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Received on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 02:08:37 GMT

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