W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > July 2009

Dons flame resistant (3 hours) interface about Linked Data URIs

From: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 01:22:24 +0100
To: "semantic-web@w3c.org" <semantic-web@w3c.org>, "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EMEW3|5be2c6a51e97d74c7b86468f22901f20l691MZ02hg|ecs.soton.ac.uk|C296%hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
I am finding the current discussion really difficult.
Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

As an example:
In the 1980s there were a load of hypertext systems that required the users
to do a bunch of stuff to buy into them. They had great theoretical bases,
and their proponents had unassailable arguments as to why their way of doing
things was right. And they really were unassailable - they were right.

They essentially died.

The web came along - I could publish a bunch of html pages about whatever I
wanted, simply by putting them in some directory somewhere that I had access
to (name told to me by my sysprog guru), and suddenly I was "on the web". If
the html syntax was wrong it was the browser's problem - don't come back and
tell me I did wrong, make what sense of it you can, it's your problem.

Such simplicity, which was understandable by a huge swathe of people who
were using computers, and acceptable to their support staff, simply swept
all before it (including WAIS, ftp, gopher).
Arguments about how "broken" the model was because of things like links
breaking and security problems were just ignored, and now seem almost
archaic to most of us.

I want the same for the Semantic Web/Linked Data.

Discussions of 303 and hash just don't cut the mustard in comparison. So I
find it hard to engage in an extended discussion about them.
Discussion:
Q: "How do I do x?"
Me: "Try this."
Q: "This doesn't work, what now?"
Immediately says to me that "this" must be wrong - we should go away and
think of something better.

So would it really be so bad if people just started putting documents with
RDF in on the web, where the URI for both the document and the thing it was
about (NIR) got confused?
All I actually want is a URI that resolves to some RDF.
And even perhaps people would not run off to RDFa so quickly?

If I can't simply publish some RDF about something like my dog, by
publishing a file of triples that say what I want at my standard web site,
we have broken the system.

<3 hours flame resistance starts />

Best
Hugh
Received on Friday, 10 July 2009 00:23:49 UTC

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