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Re: What is a WebID?

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2012 14:14:06 -0400
Message-ID: <50955EEE.5050402@openlinksw.com>
To: public-xg-webid@w3.org
On 11/3/12 1:49 PM, Melvin Carvalho wrote:
>
>
> On 31 October 2012 14:38, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com 
> <mailto:kidehen@openlinksw.com>> wrote:
>
>     All,
>
>     In the last 48 hours following TPAC, a definition of what a WebID
>     has emerged. It reads as follows: "WebID" (hash HTTP URI which
>     denotes an Agent. Where you can GET an RDF model as TURTLE.) .
>
>     I believe this definition is unnecessary inflexible albeit well
>     intended.
>
>     Problem:
>
>     A URI is an opaque identifier.
>
>     A Linked Data URI is a de-referencable URI that denotes an entity
>     in such a way that when de-referenced said URI resolves to a
>     description document of its referent. Put differently, you have
>     two routes to the same document content i.e., the first being the
>     entity name (URI) and the other being the entity description
>     document address (URI/URL). Ideally, the content of the document
>     in question takes the form of RDF model based structured data
>     represented (or expressed) using an entity relationship graph.
>
>     A WebID supposed to be a Linked Data URI.
>
>     HTTP, hash URIs, and even the RDF data model are specific
>     implementation details. They are collectively cost-effective and
>     useful, but none of that makes them mandatory items for specs
>     relating to Linked Data, Web-scale identity verification, or
>     Web-scale resource access control.
>
>     The architecture of the Web is deliberately abstract thereby
>     enabling powerful loose coupling of data access protocols, data
>     representation formats, and semantics.
>
>     Simple Example:
>
>     At this point in time, should this definition hold, the hashless
>     ProxyURIs that we use to watermark X.509 certificates for holders
>     of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, G+ etc.. accounts are all rendered
>     non conforming, just like that.
>
>     Conclusion:
>
>     I am officially lodging my opposition to this definition of a URI
>     that serves as a WebID.
>
>
> Kingsley, I share you concerns.
>
> It's important to note that this is primarily a branding issue rather 
> than technical.

You don't use branding to diminish. It's supposed to enhance.

The effect of this so-called branding is negative.
>
> We've changed brand before, namely from FOAF+SSL to WebID.

FOAF != compromising URI opacity (which is major degradation of AWWW and 
its architectural dexterity) .

>
> Personally, I find it hard to weigh the pros vs cons of this 
> decision.  But I do think having an agreed consensus of what terms 
> means (eg identity vs authentication protocol) is a plus.

Its a major minus.

>
> I was also horrified to learn that I didnt have a webid anymore, but 
> got it serving turtle via conneg within an hour, and as a direct 
> result could log in to my profile again!

Turtle utility isn't in question. That doesn't mean WebIDs, Hash URIs, 
and Turtle docs == savvy WebID branding. It simply isn't.

The game isn't about formats and syntax. It's about entity relationship 
semantics and logic. Notations for expressing entity relationship graphs 
and across-the-wire serialization formats don't need to be distractions. 
Conflation has never worked as a branding mechanism. Look at the history 
before you:

1. RDF - data model + notation + serialization formats conflation
2. SPARQL - query language + query dispatch and results retrieval 
protocol + query results serialization formats
3. Linked Data - data representation and data access mechanism that RDF 
community sees as RDF re-branding
4. and now WebID -- pattern to be repeated by this new repetition of the 
broken branding DNA.

Appreciation and adoption of all the items above are stunted by the 
confusing effects of conflation based branding.

HTML isn't why the WWW took off, that's a misconception. It took off 
because a browser provided a mechanism for understanding hypertext and 
documents, at internet scale. This all happened because of the "view 
source" pattern where folks copied and pasted the code behind these 
pages which lead to "instant gratification" etc..

Forcing a format on folks in any guise is broken by way of unnecessary 
distraction. This is about semantics, not syntax!


Kingsley
>
>
>     -- 
>
>     Regards,
>
>     Kingsley Idehen
>     Founder & CEO
>     OpenLink Software
>     Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
>     Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
>     <http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/%7Ekidehen>
>     Twitter/Identi.ca handle: @kidehen
>     Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/112399767740508618350/about
>     LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen
>
>
>
>
>
>


-- 

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
Google+ Profile: https://plus.google.com/112399767740508618350/about
LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kidehen







Received on Saturday, 3 November 2012 18:14:30 GMT

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