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Re: The need for RDF in Linked Data

From: Leon Derczynski <leon@dcs.shef.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2013 14:27:17 +0200
Message-ID: <CAPjwwFo8mfn=Ws9_-przpXdcY3eZ2CBbunnpq=DmJgf+Zann6A@mail.gmail.com>
To: Norman Gray <norman@astro.gla.ac.uk>
Cc: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, semantic-web@w3.org
Is it possible to separate the concrete content of this mailing lists (e.g.
calls, announcements, interesting new work) from abstract
steering/introspective activites? The latter are not of interest to
everyone, and the ability to receive the former need not be dependent on
receiving other material.

tl;dr this seems off-topic, is there a better place for this kind of musing?


On 18 June 2013 11:58, Norman Gray <norman@astro.gla.ac.uk> wrote:

>
> Greetings.
>
> On 2013 Jun 17, at 06:26, David Booth wrote:
>
> > If the term Linked Data is "hijacked" by a broader population to mean
> *any* sort of data that is linked -- not necessarily RDF -- then this will
> be a major loss to the Semantic Web community, because it is very hard to
> come up with simple ways to communicate the essence of the Semantic Web.
>  The Linked Data meme has been extremely helpful.  If the RDF component is
> lost, we will have lost the best meme we have ever had for explaining the
> Semantic Web.
>
> Exactly this!
>
> Short version: LD is SW propaganda -- it's more important that it be
> simple and consistent than that it be precise.
>
> 'Linked Data' is (clearly, to me) an explanation/practice/meme/movement
> rather than a precise technology, and I think it is a waste of time to
> obsess about a precise definition.
>
> I've given a couple of lectures on 'the semantic web and linked data' to
> librarians/archivists/museum people.  They're interested^Wobsessed by
> structured information, but largely uninterested in technology as such.
>  They rather glaze when I talk about RDF and ontologies, but they _get_
> Linked Data when I phrase it as 'the linked data web is the web for
> machines; it has the same good/bad/pragmatic sociotechnical features as the
> human-readable web, but because it's all RDF rather than all HTML, the
> machines can follow their noses just like we can on the human-readable web'.
>
> Phrased like that, or something like it, they can imagine its use in their
> practice, and why it's important.  They get that the Semantic Web is this
> plus computing scientists.
>
> I think that's a win, but it depends absolutely on being able to give a
> really clean description (as opposed to a definition) of what 'linked data'
> is, and I think it's vital that that description is consistent, and
> consistently simple, whenever they look around for other material about it.
>
> Explaining that the RDF doesn't have to look much like RDF, and might even
> look like JSON, talking about underlying data models, and everything else,
> are all true; but they are technical details which should be avoided as
> irrelevant in most conversations about LD, and which are thus actively
> counterproductive.
>
> Pat Hayes said:
>
> >> If this turned out to be the case, I'd be somewhat confused, being left
> without a vocabulary term to describe RDF's underlying paradigm, and little
> if any differentiation between the terms Semantic Web and Linked Data.
> >
> > Seems to me that being somewhat confused about the distinction between
> SWeb and LD is pretty normal. Maybe we should all agree to be slightly
> confused and be happy about that.
>
> Yes: anyone who implements a LD solution probably knows about the SW
> anyway, so the distinction doesn't much matter; anyone who isn't
> implementing something just needs the motivation, and so doesn't care about
> the distinction either.  So precision is less important than expository
> simplicity and consistency.
>
> All the best,
>
> Norman
>
>
> --
> Norman Gray  :  http://nxg.me.uk
> SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK
>
>
>


-- 
Leon R A Derczynski
Research Associate, NLP Group

Department of Computer Science
University of Sheffield
Regent Court, 211 Portobello
Sheffield S1 4DP, UK

+45 5157 4948
http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/~leon/
Received on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 12:27:50 UTC

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