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

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 14:31:33 +0100
Message-ID: <4A5742B5.4030604@openlinksw.com>
To: Steve Harris <steve.harris@garlik.com>
CC: semantic-web at W3C <semantic-web@w3c.org>, public-lod@w3.org
Steve Harris wrote:
> On 10 Jul 2009, at 11:00, Toby Inkster wrote:
>
>> On Fri, 2009-07-10 at 10:40 +0100, Steve Harris wrote:
>>> Personally I think that RDF/XML doesn't help, it's too hard to write
>>> by hand.
>>
>> MicroTurtle, the sloppy RDF format:
>>
>>     <http://buzzword.org.uk/2009/microturtle/spec>
>
> That's very interesting. I like it, but I'm not sure that it's 
> necessarily what I would ideally like if I were coming to RDF afresh. 
> It looks like the perl of RDF syntaxes :) Which is good for some 
> people, but not others.
>
> Something like NTriples + UTF-8 + @prefix could be an answer for 
> people new to RDF. One of the problems is the various triple shortcut 
> syntaxes we use. Either the stacked syntax of RDF/XML, or the 
> punctuation of Turtle.
>
> For anyone who's about to say that Turtle = ntriples + UTF-8 + @prefix 
> - it doesn't help. The vast Majority of examples you see online use at 
> least ; and probably [] and , too, which makes it very hard to follow. 
> At least in my experience of introducing developers to RDF.
>
> - Steve
>
Steve et. al,

If we are going to take the "how the Web was born" theme re. figuring 
out the path forward, then what's wrong with RDFa? If people sort of 
know how to write HTML, why not show them how to add rich metadata via 
RDFa? That said, we have a deeper problem re. Linked Data, and in my 
opinion it starts not fulling expressing the essence of the matter with 
clarity. The fundamental issues are:

1. adding rich metadata to the existing Web documents
2. using HTTP URIs as identifiers for the entities in the Metadata 
embedded within Web docs
3. leveraging the functional duality of HTTP URIs re. implicit binding 
of an Entity to its Metadata (so that you can reference an Entity and 
de-reference its Metadata via the same HTTP URI)
4. negotiable representation of Metadata .

As you can see, 303's are mechanical details associated with point 3, 
but sadly we continue to make this matter the "hornets nest" that 
obscures something that is truly innovative: the use of the Web's 
conceptual dexterity to expand its use i.e., addition of link 
granularity scoped to the data item level, with implicit binding to 
negotiated representations of data item description (metadata) carrying 
docs.

RDFa is the easiest way forward as far as I re. bootstrap, in line with 
a "deceptively simple" story. The core message is still about adding 
rich metadata to HTML docs that describe "you", "your social networks", 
"your wants/needs" (wishlist), "your products & services" (offerings), 
and other things that you (the document author) deems important to 
others on the Web.

When embarking on the above, stick with HTTP URIs that include fragment 
identifiers ("#") when giving Names to the "Things" you describe. If you 
have to use slash ("/") terminated HTTP URIs, then understand that by 
default such URIs carry resource location implications, so you will have 
to take on the burden of disambiguating user agents requests re. entity 
(resource) identity and access to entity (resource) metadata via an HTTP 
message heuristic that includes 303 redirection etc..

Novelty reminder:
Identity isn't a new subject. Neither are Data Access and Metadata. What 
is new, different, and novel, is how HTTP brings these items together in 
a very powerful way via the Linked Data meme.

How we got here:
The Web took off because the opportunity cost of not being on it reached 
a critical level of palpability. The Linked Data will take off because 
the adoption of RDFa and GoodRelations by Yahoo! and Google will deliver 
the equivalent "opportunity cost palpability". This time it will be 
about the virtues of augmenting existing Web resources with Rich 
Metadata. Remember, you put stuff on the Web for it to be found. If you 
don't want it found, then it shouldn't be on the Web. This is why Yahoo! 
and Google play such a pivotal role re. the next wave :-)

-- 


Regards,

Kingsley Idehen	      Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Received on Friday, 10 July 2009 13:32:14 UTC

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