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Re: Normative vs Informative

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2011 15:40:09 -0500
Message-ID: <4ED3F1A9.7030802@openlinksw.com>
To: public-xg-webid@w3.org
On 11/28/11 2:56 PM, Mo McRoberts wrote:
> On 28 Nov 2011, at 17:17, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
>> People should be allowed to comprehend what WebID and the WebID protocol are about without any Syntax oriented distractions. That's how to best engage a broad audience of evangelists, developers, and end-users. People can be political about RDF but far less so about the important issue of verifiable identity and privacy at InterWeb scales.
> Perhaps I’m misunderstanding the intent of this statement, however:—
>
> People should be allowed to read a spec and know _exactly_ what they need to implement in order to have a working system. Specs which leave lots of things unspecified, or say “you can use anything kinda like this” aren’t specs at all, they’re just background papers. Sure, expand them over time, provide some narrative indicating future direction (“in principle anything taking the form<x>  will work; at this stage they’re not part of the specification but in future editions may well be”), but you need to start with a concrete basis or nobody will ever implement anything that interoperates with anything else.

WebID needs the following:

1. a document that explains the concept devoid of syntax specificity
2. an implementation guide / spec that outlines how it can be implemented

#2 can ultimately grow into a collection of crowd sourced guides 
covering a variety of options as opposed to one gospel. Right now, we 
have WebID intermingled with RDF. Then we have dangerous reinforcement 
of Linked Data == RDF. All totally unnecessary if this effort is to 
truly seek mass adoption. An RDF specific implementation guide can 
easily be tagged as just that.

> The syntax is important, because people need to write code, or select libraries containing code written by other people, which handle the syntax in order to make the stuff WORK. “X.509 subjectAltName pointing at a profile document containing cert ontology statements mirroring the public key expressed as RDF/XML or RDFa 1.1” is implementable in a interoperable fashion (assuming “pointing at” and behaviours are specified) because it's pretty concrete and easy to understand irrespective of whether you buy into the Semantic Web vision or not.

RDF/XML and RDFa 1.1 are inextricably bound to the Semantic Web Project 
and vision.

EAV/SPO triple based directed graphs comprised of de-referencable URIs 
in the E(S), A(P), and V (O) slots (optionally) isn't inextricably bound 
to the Semantic Web vision. That's actually part of the original Web 
vision. Again, Linked Data is part of the original Web vision and a 
foundation component (albeit applied retrospectively post getting 
RDF/XML and Blank Nodes out of the way) re. the Semantic Web vision.
>
> Get version 1.0 or 0.1 or 2011 or whatever it is out of the door and get some of that “multiple compatible implementations” love going and _then_ worry about whether it’s too limiting.

It isn't how you assume.

What constitutes a WebID application? Who is going to be making these?

We had a SWAT-0 run about a year ago, some of us produced WebID 
implementations. Others didn't. Henry for example didn't produce a 
solution or push others to do so. Thus, it was basically a dud. Its that 
kind of subjectivity that's ultimately problematic.

I have WebID solutions for:

1. email spam
2. ACLs
3. Address Books
4. Calendars
5. etc..

They won't count for much in the eyes of most for a myriad of reasons. 
Non of which have anything to do with the specs. For me personally, it 
isn't a big deal, I am wired in unconventional ways (I am coming to 
accept), but not so for others. People operate mostly on the "once 
bitten twice shy" principle.

You may or  may not know that Netscape embraced RDF with all of its 
early virtues in mind. Till this very day, any mention of R-D-F leads to 
doors being closed.

>   If you want to include a non-normative paragraph about how you could express the WebID profile information in any one of a hundred different forms, only some of which are RDF-related, I’m pretty sure Henry is open to patches.

I've outlined my view point above. There has to be a document that 
oulines what WebID and its verification protocol are about, 
conceptually. That has to be separate from an implementation details 
oriented spec. The spec alone only leads to the problems manifesting 
right now.

I want mass adoption of WebID, period. I believe Henry and I share the 
same big picture goal but are quite divergent re. destination pathways.

>
> M.
>


-- 

Regards,

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
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LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen








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