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RE: [Best Practices] Context document - modifying and versioning

From: Markus Lanthaler <markus.lanthaler@gmx.net>
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2014 21:11:30 +0200
To: "'Linked JSON'" <public-linked-json@w3.org>
Message-ID: <058001cf8416$9f738a10$de5a9e30$@gmx.net>
Hi Pavlik,

On Sunday, June 08, 2014 12:16 PM, ☮ elf Pavlik ☮ wrote:
> I see a pattern with versioned contexts like many Web Payments specs:
> https://web-payments.org/specs/source/identity-credentials/#a-typical-identity
> And also context without version, like Hydra Core
> http://hydra-cg.com/spec/latest/core/#documenting-a-web-api
> AFAIK one for schema.org will also have no version information.

Yep. It's a design decision and also a matter of taste. I personally don't like putting version information in URLs for things like these. This is very similar to namespace URLs. FOAF, still one of the most popular vocabularies, is stuck with a 0.1 version in its URL for more than a decade now:


Some people thus use dates instead of version numbers. I don't find that much better:


As long as you don't introduce breaking changes, there's no need to version. If you do, you end up with a different thing. You can just as well give it a different name then.

> I see it somehow relevant to this issue: "JSON-LD Context security
> considerations" https://github.com/web-payments/web-payments.org/issues/21

Maybe, maybe not. The simplest thing to do if it is security-sensitive is to just embed it (or expand the document before storing it permanently).

> Since changing content of the context document can completely change
> meaning of data, maybe creating some kind of JSON-LD Context Best
> Practices document could help many people with playing safe when
> altering contexts used in data already out(in) there?

Changing vocabularies is even worse. So, there's really just one advice: as soon as it is out, you can't change it anymore. The good thing is that there are infinitely many URLs. Just mint a new one.

The problem with Best Practice documents etc. IMO is that people rarely read them... and typically no one wants to write them (exactly for that reason). If someone volunteers, I'm sure no one would object to hosting it directly on json-ld.org.

Markus Lanthaler
Received on Monday, 9 June 2014 19:12:01 UTC

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