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Re: .htaccess a major bottleneck to Semantic Web adoption / Was: Re: RDFa vs RDF/XML and content negotiation

From: Toby A Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 09:03:10 +0100
Message-Id: <473F27EC-B63D-46BB-A8B4-E9789ED930D8@g5n.co.uk>
Cc: Tom Heath <tom.heath@talis.com>, martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org, Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>, bill.roberts@planet.nl, public-lod@w3.org, semantic-web at W3C <semantic-web@w3c.org>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
On 25 Jun 2009, at 21:18, Pat Hayes wrote:

> If [RDF] requires people to tinker with files with names starting  
> with a dot [...] then the entire SWeb architecture is fundamentally  
> broken.

RDF doesn't. Apache does.

Many hosts do have front ends for configuring Apache, allowing  
redirects to be set up and content-types configured by filling in  
simple web forms. But there are such a variety of these tools with  
different capabilities and different interfaces that it would be  
difficult to produce advice suitable for them all, so instead  
".htaccess" recipes are provided instead.

That said, there are a couple of steps that Martin could remove from  
his recipe and still be promoting reasonably good practice:

Step 5a - this rewrites <http://example.org/semanticweb> to <http:// 
example.org/semanticweb.rdf>. Other than aesthetics, there's no real  
reason to do this. Yes, I've read timbl's old Cool URIs document, and  
understand about not wanting to include hints of file format in a  
URI. But realistically, this file is going to always include some RDF  
- perhaps in a non-RDF/XML serialisation, but I don't see anything  
inappropriate about serving other RDF serialisations using a ".rdf"  
URL, provided the correct MIME type is used.

Step 5b - the default Apache mime.types file knows about application/ 
rdf+xml, so this should be unnecessary. Perhaps instead have a  
GoodRelations "validator" which checks that the content type is  
correct, and only suggests this when it is found to be otherwise.

Steps 3 and 4 could be amalgamated into a single "validate your RDF  
file" step using the aforementioned validator. The validator would be  
written so that, upon a successful validation, it offers single-click  
options to ping semweb search engines, and Yahoo (via a RDF/XML- 
 >DataRSS converter).

With those adjustments, the recipe would just be:

	1. Upload your RDF file.
	2. Add a rel="meta" link to it.
	3. Validate using our helpful tool.

-- 
Toby A Inkster
<mailto:mail@tobyinkster.co.uk>
<http://tobyinkster.co.uk>
Received on Friday, 26 June 2009 08:02:53 GMT

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