W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > July 2010

Re: Show me the money - (was Subjects as Literals)

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 2010 13:05:54 -0400
Message-ID: <4C2CCAF2.6050104@openlinksw.com>
To: nathan@webr3.org
CC: Jeremy Carroll <jeremy@topquadrant.com>, Yves Raimond <yves.raimond@gmail.com>, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>, David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>, Michael Hausenblas <michael.hausenblas@deri.org>, Story Henry <henry.story@bblfish.net>, Ivan Mikhailov <imikhailov@openlinksw.com>
Nathan wrote:
> Dan, Jeremy, Pat, Henry, Michael, Kinglsey, Ivan, ack.. everyone,
>
> Part of me feels like I should apologise for bringing this to the 
> mailing list (even though it was inevitable) - this is all getting out 
> of scope and the last thing we need is one of the most critical 
> communities in what's a mini revolution to be split over such matters.
>
> Valid arguments from all sides, technical and not - but things are 
> really getting conflated here, at least from what I originally 
> intended to put forward (probably past that and insignificant now).
>
> I respect that everybody has made large investments, time, money, 
> data, deployment, training and so forth; but really, non of that need 
> be wasted and nobody need change anything that has any impact on any 
> investments thus far.
>
> My (personal) concern is really on the 10 year timeline (a bit shorter 
> to be honest ;), there are limitations and things in RDF that do, 
> 100%, prevent the web of data as a whole from moving forwards - 
> however, nobody has to scrap anything.
>
> Simply, define a non serialization specific model that caters for N3 
> and RDF - then let each standard or serialization specify what it 
> implements/supports - the point here, and I stress, isn't to break 
> anything, but to open it up to innovation and allow the next decades 
> worth of hacking to get going
>
> So RDF/XML is perhaps broken technically and doesn't support all these 
> things, who cares? it obviously works just fine for a deployment of 
> several billion triples, why change it? why not define it as a subset 
> of some core model? - I can only see one reason not to, and I hate to 
> say it, but some kind of pride that the work done thus far and 
> commonly adopted *must* be seen to be 'perfect' - please, don't take 
> that as any insult, as none is intended.
>
> There are clearly very strong opinions on both sides, and very valid 
> reasons too - there's an easy solution that would keep everybody happy 
> and allow all to get on being productive and innovative - why not 
> enable this?
>
> In all honesty, if this doesn't happen, I personally will have no 
> choice but to move to N3 for the bulk of things, and hope for other 
> serializations of N3 to come along - I'd do that today, but you see 
> I'm a huge linked data proponent and see almost unquantifiable gains 
> from adopting linked data - but if what I do to get a full working 
> model of the web of data doesn't qualify as valid RDF at some level 
> and you all can't utilize it, then it's a wasted effort and a road to 
> no where - this, is the real issue, and many others have hit it, and 
> will hit it again and again as time moves on.
>
> Please, do consider, nobody need loose anything here
>
> Best,
>
> Nathan
>
> - :(
>
> Jeremy Carroll wrote:
>>
>> I am still not hearing any argument to justify the costs of literals 
>> as subjects
>>
>> I have loads and loads of code, both open source and commercial that 
>> assumes throughout that a node in a subject position is not a 
>> literal, and a node in a predicate position is a URI node.
>>
>> Of course, the "correct" thing to do is to allow all three node types 
>> in all three positions. (Well four if we take the graph name as well!)
>>
>> But if we make a change,  all of my code base will need to be checked 
>> for this issue.
>> This costs my company maybe $100K (very roughly)
>> No one has even showed me $1K of advantage for this change.
>>
>> It is a no brainer not to do the fix even if it is technically correct
>>
>> Jeremy
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>

Cut long story short.

RDF/XML != RDF.

Trouble is this though:

World sees RDF/XML == RDF. They don't see RDF Data Model aspect.

W3C only officially acknowledges RDF/XML as Markup Language for RDF Data 
Model.

Even worse, RDF (perceived to be == RDF/XML) is now tagged as mandatory 
for Linked Data, which is simply not so at all.

We have an EAV model, URIs, quads (or triples) and a variety of data 
representation mechanisms. N3 is one of those, and its basically the 
foundation that bootstrapped the House of HTTP based Linked Data.

RDF modulo Linked Data has nothing to show bar the kind to discussion 
thread you might have inadvertently triggered. Which is why I find RDF 
and Linked Data conflation an unfortunate attempt to force RDF (and all 
its troubles) on the truly useful outputs from the Semantic Web Project.

-- 

Regards,

Kingsley Idehen	      
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     
Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca: kidehen 
Received on Thursday, 1 July 2010 17:06:37 UTC

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