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Re: Project Things by Mozilla and the Web Thing API

From: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2017 15:22:02 +0100
Message-Id: <A80A3F7A-0045-4FF1-BEC8-CF9305079B8F@w3.org>
Cc: "Kovatsch, Matthias" <matthias.kovatsch@siemens.com>, "Kis, Zoltan" <zoltan.kis@intel.com>, public-wot-ig <public-wot-ig@w3.org>, "public-wot-wg@w3.org" <public-wot-wg@w3.org>
To: Benjamin Francis <bfrancis@mozilla.com>

> On 18 Jul 2017, at 14:19, Benjamin Francis <bfrancis@mozilla.com> wrote:
> 
> In my view it is worth the effort and in fact more valuable to come up with a plain JSON core description format that developers can use directly, rather than spend a long time defining an abstract semantic model which can be serialized in multiple formats. In our experience web developers care much more about having a concrete tool they can directly apply to solving problems than an abstract semantic ontology. It sounds like a core JSON format with a simple extension mechanism via a "@context" tag is a possible path forward here.

I think this just entails a plain JSON representation of the properties, actions, events and common metadata, including semantic types (e.g. “@type": “toaster”), and @context only when terms are used that are not part of the default context.

This avoids the need for web developers to deal with details of the semantic models, except when they need to, e.g. for composition and adaptation to differences in interaction models across vendors, e.g. different models of toasters, where it is valuable to look at the semantic capabilities to figure out what changes are needed, e.g. in the user interface.

>  
> But here is the challenge we have at Mozilla. We would like to be able to point the web developer community towards the Web of Things Working Group at the W3C and say "Here is how we can build a decentralized IoT by giving things URLs on the web. Here is a (draft) standard Web Thing Description format and a standard Web Thing REST + WebSockets API that you can conform with in order to achieve interoperability”.

That sounds like a great goal!

> I am trying to figure out whether it's possible for Mozilla to continue to contribute towards the effort of defining the core Thing Description format, without all of those other nascent and abstract deliverables being a distraction. So far I see some hope of alignment on the description format, but I see lots of examples of where the broader goals of an encoding-agnostic semantic model, a protocol-agnostic interface and a programming language-agnostic scripting API are putting unnecessary constraints on that core effort which cause it to be overcomplicated and risk delaying its delivery indefinitely.

I am optimistic that we can find ways forward that minimise the effort needed by Web developers and see that as a very important goal. I very much encourage Mozilla to participate in helping with this and offer my support.

Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org> http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett
W3C champion for the Web of things
Received on Tuesday, 18 July 2017 14:22:18 UTC

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