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Fwd: Linked Data and REST architectural style (was: This is REST)

From: Simon Reinhardt <simon.reinhardt@koeln.de>
Date: Tue, 03 Mar 2009 18:24:10 +0000
Message-ID: <49AD75CA.8000702@koeln.de>
To: public-lod@w3.org, semantic-web@w3.org

This came up on the REST list and needs some SemWeb community input. ;-)
For context, read the whole thread [1] and Roy's and Subbu's writings [2][3].
I guess the REST list is the best place to provide the input.


[1] http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/rest-discuss/message/12170
[2] http://roy.gbiv.com/untangled/2008/rest-apis-must-be-hypertext-driven
[3] http://www.infoq.com/articles/subbu-allamaraju-rest

-------- Original-Nachricht --------
Betreff: Linked Data and REST architectural style (was: This is REST)
Datum: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 17:53:51 -0000
Von: Julian Everett <Julian.Everett@bbc.com>
An: Simon Reinhardt <simon.reinhardt@koeln.de>,        Rest List <rest-discuss@yahoogroups.com>
Referenzen: <55c60e370903021409h6f20476fw2e80696ac319ec36@mail.gmail.com>	 <C0E0681F-6E67-4807-8DB0-262952DD3AAA@innoq.com>	 <55c60e370903021440s6ec8b31brd0f6f2a8d1e586e5@mail.gmail.com>	 <F34A1426-6D78-4028-963F-59FED327499A@innoq.com> <55c60e370903030611n207729cfxc825965af9308ae0@mail.gmail.com> <49AD538C.8000605@koeln.de>

The relevance of the REST architectural style to Linked Data and
OWL/SKOS/etc has been nagging away in the back of my mind for the last
few months. 

The idea of defining (and even considering the maintenance overhead of)
an OWL snapshot of a knowledge domain and binding to it via restricted
vocabulary metadata fills me with fear. It seems fraught with all the
same contract versioning issues as WSDL, DCOM, etc. Knowledge and
meaning are continually evolving products of the dynamic social context
within which they exist, and that fact surely needs to be addressed in
any workable content binding approach...

In REST terms, concepts can obviously be modelled as URI-addressable
resources and published in different representation formats. For
example, the location concept "London, UK" can be modelled as a resource
with the address http://dbpedia.org/resource/London and then published
in representation formats including RDF, N3, KML, GeoRSS, etc. However I
am unsure how the self-describing message and HATEOS constraints
translate in this context? The best I can come up with is that the
DBpedia, Freebase, OpenCyc ontologies should be viewed as the knowledge
representation equivalents of standard MIME types (or metamedia types?),
and that hypermedia should be used for runtime binding to the immediate
sibling nodes of a concept within those standard ontologies (thereby
avoiding the versioned contract binding nightmare). Any approach like
that would make me feel a lot more comfortable that just tagging stuff
with DBpedia URIs, which seems to violate a whole raft of basic
architectural principles e.g. encapsulation and separate of

To my (clearly limited) mind, these seem like really important questions
and I don't think they are receiving enough consideration in linked
data/semantic web circles at present?



-----Original Message-----
From: rest-discuss@yahoogroups.com [mailto:rest-discuss@yahoogroups.com]
On Behalf Of Simon Reinhardt
Sent: 03 March 2009 15:58
Cc: Rest List
Subject: Re: [rest-discuss] This is REST

Solomon Duskis wrote:
> Craig and Subbu's use of "rel" seems like a good start and I think
> building on that idea can lead to a "there can be only one" compliant 
> RESTful application.  I think it may be a problem that may be solved 
> with an "As Simple As Possible," well known media-type plus a guide on

> how to develop "rel" dictionaries.

This is basically what RDF provides: a common data model (and a bunch of
defined formats for it) and a simple, distributed way for defining your
"rel" values, encouraging you to re-use the ones defined by others so
that a Web service client needs less built-in knowledge about your
And Linked Data [1] is all about taking one entry point and traversing
the data Web from there dynamically by following the links provided
(choosing those which have a "rel" type that matches your intentions).
Linked Data is mainly about linking up open data of course but its
principles can easily be applied to closed applications which, I think,
would benefit from that.
Just one way of doing it, but I more and more think that the ideas
behind Linked Data and REST overlap largely. :-)


[1] http://linkeddata.org/


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Received on Tuesday, 3 March 2009 18:27:01 UTC

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