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

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

From: Steve Harris <steve.harris@garlik.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 11:13:41 +0100
Cc: semantic-web at W3C <semantic-web@w3c.org>, public-lod@w3.org
Message-Id: <59F141B8-F011-4A15-98A3-48E1AD6D91A0@garlik.com>
To: Richard Light <richard@light.demon.co.uk>
On 10 Jul 2009, at 10:56, Richard Light wrote:
> In message <7544285B-E1B1-48A4-96E0-BDED62175EA8@garlik.com>, Steve  
> Harris <steve.harris@garlik.com> writes
>> On 10 Jul 2009, at 01:22, Hugh Glaser wrote:
>>> 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.
>>
>> I couldn't agree more.
>>
>> <rant subject="off-topic syntax rant of the decade">
>> Personally I think that RDF/XML doesn't help, it's too hard to  
>> write by hand. None of the other syntaxes for RDF triples really  
>> have the stamp of legitimacy. I think that's something that could  
>> really help adoption, the the same way that strict XHTML, in the  
>> early 1990's wouldn't have been so popular with people (like me)  
>> who just wanted to bash out some text in vi.
>> </>
>
> Well, in my view, when we get to "bashing out" triples it isn't the  
> holding syntax which will be the main challenge, it's the Linked  
> Data URLs. Obviously, in a Linked Data resource about your dog, you  
> can invent the URL for the subject of your triples, but if your Data  
> is to be Linked in any meaningful way, you also need URLs for their  
> predicates and objects.
>
> This implies that, without a sort of Semantic FrontPage (TM) with  
> powerful and user-friendly lookup facilities, no-one is going to  
> bash out usable Linked Data.  Certainly not with vi.  And if you  
> have such authoring software, the easiest part of its job will be  
> rendering your statements into as many syntaxes as you want.

I think that's a fallacy. I the web wasn't bootstrapped by people  
wielding Frontpage*. It was people like Hugh and I, churning out HTML  
by hand (or shell script often), mostly by “cargo cult” copying  
existing HTML we found on the Web. That neatly sidesteps the schema  
question, as people will just use whatever other people use, warts,  
typos, and all.

The tools for non-geeks phase comes along much later, IMHO. First we  
have to make an environment interesting enough for non-geeks to want  
to play in.

Happy to be demonstrated wrong of course.

- Steve

* Frontpage wasn't released until late '95, and wasn't widely known  
until late '96 when it was bought by MS. By which time the Web was a  
done deal.

-- 
Steve Harris
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Received on Friday, 10 July 2009 10:14:28 UTC

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