W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > September 2014

Re: Building Linked Data into the Core of the Web

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2014 16:50:55 -0400
Message-ID: <541F3A2F.6060602@openlinksw.com>
To: public-webpayments@w3.org
On 9/21/14 3:08 PM, Dave Lampton wrote:
> To say we've always had linked data is kind of silly, I think. A 
> cop-out, indeed.
>     From day 1 the proposal back in 1989 was of an information system
>     where data is linked.


The point is simply this: Linked Data has always been part of the Web. 
That's been a fact, since inception.

Without Linked Data you don't have a Web.

Without HTTP based Linked Open Data you don't have a global World Wide Web.

"Open" stands for Open Standards usage.

The Open Standards in question are:

1. URIs
3. HTML -- Hypertext Markup (L)anguage (system of signs, syntax, and 
relationship role semantics) which can also be used to produce RDF 
statement triples (exemplified by Plain Old Semantic HTML)
4. and RDF -- an abstract Language for structured data representation 
that isn't bound to any specific notation for content creation.

The problem with RDF is that it ended up being inextricably bound to 
RDF/XML (a ghastly notation, to be polite!) .

RDF (as stated above) It is an abstract Language (system of signs, 
syntax, and relationship role semantics), quite contrary to most RDF 
marketing and communications oriented narratives from the Semantic Web 
community that inadvertently lead to be it being perceived as a format.

> Yes, of course, but there is a fundamental difference that seems to be 
> easily forgotten in this conversation. The first twenty five years of 
> the Web have seen it held together by mostly ad-hoc human choices for 
> URLs behind hyperlinks to an endless network of human-readable "pages".

Yes, but that mess is a Web of Linked Open Data. The mess lacked 
formalization in a W3C spec. RDF is a formalization of that mess of 
statements/sentences/propositions for which hyperlinks sit at the fore, 
in the minds of users.

> Let's remember that when we're speaking of "Linked Data" we should all 
> know we are really speaking of logically organized networks of 
> *machine-readable data*, where RDF triples will ultimately reap 
> entirely new knowledge from (seemingly) unrelated data.

Yes-ish.  Its simply about statements/sentences/propositions 
standardized by RDF.

> Often this data will be sitting behind well-designed APIs. I still 
> think of a Web application as a presentation to human users over a 
> browser platform. What Linked Data (or the Semantic Web or whatever we 
> end up calling it), will be bringing to us more and more over time is 
> an entirely new knowledge base just waiting for people to take 
> advantage of.


> Much of the Big Data exploration will not be done so much by the 
> public, nor by humans browsing pages at all. The frontier of discovery 
> will be mostly explored by programmers and data scientists using 
> machines (of course) and intelligent agents, etc.

Yes, modulo "Data Scientists" as that's another distracting term. 
Basically, we will be able to say what we mean, and mean what we say, in 
a way that's understood by both humans and machines [1].

> Whether we use RDF or JSON-LD or something else is a secondary issue,

RDF isn't a format. Thus, its eternally confusing to juxtapose RDF and 
JSON-LD. We don't need that.

> as long as our data get their semantics attached.

Its one thing to assume "semantics are attached" and its another thing 
for the aforementioned semantics to be discernible and comprehensible to 
both humans and machines.

> I'm all in favor of embracing standards but which of those are the 
> best choices only become clear over time.

Again, RDF went awry when its narrative went off track, for all the 
wrong reasons. RDF is really a retrospective formalization of an aspect 
of the Web. That's a clear and defensible position.

> For another example, it behooves us to standardize the way we choose 
> the URIs for our APIs, as not only should they be "cool 
> <http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI.html.en>", there should also be 
> more formalized guidelines for constructing "URI Schema". But I digress.


[1] http://www.pinterest.com/pin/389561436491763588/ -- Say what you 
mean, and mean what you say, with brevity.


> Dave Lampton
> _@dave_lampton <https://twitter.com/dave_lampton>_
> _+DaveLampton <https://www.google.com/+DaveLampton>_
> www.linkedin.com/in/davelampton/ <http://www.linkedin.com/in/davelampton/>
> On Sun, Sep 21, 2014 at 11:16 AM, Kingsley Idehen 
> <kidehen@openlinksw.com <mailto:kidehen@openlinksw.com>> wrote:
>     On 9/19/14 3:04 PM, Brent Shambaugh wrote:
>>     I think there is a difference between the web as Tim Berners-Lee
>>     envisioned it and the web as it is (or perceived).
>     I would say there's a difference between Web's actual architecture
>     and how its being used, in regards to Web application development.
>>     To be honest, until a couple of years ago I did not even know Tim
>>     Berners-Lee existed, but I knew that the web did.
>     That's fine, the Web's Architectural dexterity isn't the sole
>     effort of one man. TimBL will tell you that, any day. That said,
>     his fundamental vision lies at the base of the aforementioned
>     architecture.
>>     In the 90's I knew about AOL because they provided internet, and
>>     I wanted it because of all the cool things provided with it.
>>     In the late 90's I learned about Linux because there was a smart
>>     kid that used it and was enthusiastic about it. Unfortunately I
>>     did not use it till later because I was a bit afraid of tux the
>>     penguin, and I did not think I was good at math, nor did I
>>     believe I was smart enough to figure it out.
>>     In college some kids said that I should try out Facebook. It
>>     looked impressive, I was excited to reconnect with old friends,
>>     and I had no clue how it might work.
>>     I think it is all about perception. Once people see linked data
>>     for what it can do (and are enthusiastic about it), and believe
>>     they can use it, then they will.
>     Yes, and the trouble is that in "Linked Data" the original
>     narrative sorta go hijacked (I have no better characterization
>     term) which lead to more confusion that clarity. The one thing I
>     like about the JSON-LD narrative is that it stayed way clear of
>     those fundamental mistakes, in regards to meme construction. Net
>     effect, it has provided an effective bridge for "Web Developers"
>     that are focused on JSON notation for structured data representation.
>     It's one thing to have technology, its another thing to construct
>     a coherent narrative for a target demographic.
>     Kingsley
>>     -Brent Shambaugh
>>     Website: bshambaugh.org <http://bshambaugh.org>
>>     On Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 3:35 AM, Melvin Carvalho
>>     <melvincarvalho@gmail.com <mailto:melvincarvalho@gmail.com>> wrote:
>>         On 19 September 2014 03:49, Manu Sporny
>>         <msporny@digitalbazaar.com
>>         <mailto:msporny@digitalbazaar.com>> wrote:
>>             On 09/14/2014 04:58 PM, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
>>             > It is misleading (albeit inadvertent in regards to your
>>             post above)
>>             > to infer that Linked Data isn't already the core of the
>>             Web. The
>>             > absolute fact of the matter is that Linked Data has
>>             been the core of
>>             > the Web since it was an idea [1][2].
>>             Well, that's one of the points I make at the beginning of
>>             the talk. I
>>             also mention that saying "Linked Data" is part of the
>>             core of the web is
>>             a bit of a cop-out. Web developers don't understand that,
>>             and until they
>>             do, I don't consider Linked Data as a core part of the
>>             Web in the same
>>             way that HTML, Javascript, and HTTP is a core part of the
>>             Web. I was not
>>             just coming at this from a technical standpoint, I was
>>             also making a
>>             statement about the general Web developer community's
>>             understanding of
>>             Linked Data.
>>         Not only is linked data part of the web, it was the
>>         *motivation* for the web.
>>         From day 1 the proposal back in 1989 was of an information
>>         system where data is linked:
>>         http://www.w3.org/History/1989/proposal.html
>>         We have a lost generation of web 2.0 developers that mostly
>>         havent seen or understood the implications of that document.
>>         But saying that linked data is not in the core of the web is
>>         a bit like saying anonymous functions are not in the core of
>>         JavaScript.  Now it's true that 10 years ago most JS
>>         developers would not realize the elegance of the language. 
>>         But Douglas Cockroft came along and blew that all away with
>>         his "JavaScript, the good parts".
>>         There are different ways to convey the message, but I think
>>         it's hard to dispute that linked data is core to the web.
>>             > Instead, we ended up with an incomprehensible,
>>             indefensible, and at
>>             > best draconian narrative that has forever tainted the
>>             letters "R-D-F"
>>             > . And HttpRange-14 as a censorship tool (based on its
>>             ridiculous
>>             > history), that blurs fixing this horrible state of affairs.
>>             +1
>>             -- manu
>>             --
>>             Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+:
>>             +Manu Sporny)
>>             Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
>>             blog: The Marathonic Dawn of Web Payments
>>             http://manu.sporny.org/2014/dawn-of-web-payments/
>     -- 
>     Regards,
>     Kingsley Idehen	
>     Founder & CEO
>     OpenLink Software
>     Company Web:http://www.openlinksw.com
>     Personal Weblog 1:http://kidehen.blogspot.com
>     Personal Weblog 2:http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen  <http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/%7Ekidehen>
>     Twitter Profile:https://twitter.com/kidehen
>     Google+ Profile:https://plus.google.com/+KingsleyIdehen/about
>     LinkedIn Profile:http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen
>     Personal WebID:http://kingsley.idehen.net/dataspace/person/kidehen#this


Kingsley Idehen	
Founder & CEO
OpenLink Software
Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Personal Weblog 1: http://kidehen.blogspot.com
Personal Weblog 2: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/kidehen
Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/+KingsleyIdehen/about
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen
Personal WebID: http://kingsley.idehen.net/dataspace/person/kidehen#this

Received on Sunday, 21 September 2014 20:51:20 UTC

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