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Re: Making RDF / LinkedData trivially browseable - thoughts?

From: Daniel O'Connor <daniel.oconnor@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2009 19:25:24 +0930
Message-ID: <106cc1200904040255h14e4b0c2y4dcb805189f60691@mail.gmail.com>
To: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Cc: Kjetil Kjernsmo <kjetil@kjernsmo.net>, "public-lod@w3.org" <public-lod@w3.org>
> I am rather uncomfortable with even the idea that users might "browse the
> semantic web".

Actually, it kind of is :)
I'd have the same arguments for enabling some low level kind of browsing of
data as I would for publishing RDFa - its easy, interactive, and
understandable; while still doing all of the neat stuff with linked data.

'scuse me, gotta put the flamesuit on now eek.

> I know that is not what you are suggesting, Daniel, but you are also
> implying that the way a developer might get the sense they are gaining
> something with this Linked Data (LD) stuff is by clicking from site to site.

I'm aiming for a quick sense "I just put all of my data out there, and I can
tangibly feel how it is linked together; and can get from one half of my
site to dbpedia to somewhere else to somewhere else; neat".

That has certainly worked for the web.

The learning curve I sort of see is for an average developer who stumbles
across a dataset:

   1. Its really easy to see how this data is connected. I might just right
   click, and view source, and look what's under the hood.
   2. Hey, this is all XML right? If I were going to build an application
   (ie, a mashup), I could do a whole bunch of xpath and http get requests!
   3. I've just built three or four mashups; maybe there's a better way that
   xpath and http get? What's the underlying RDF stuff all about? What are all
   these identifiers about?
   4. Oh: wow; RDF is neat; the next time I have a data set or plan to make
   my own API, I might as well just publish it as RDF/XML / linked data.

> So in summary:
> Tell your "regular web developer guy" that all he needs are the URIs for
> the thing he is concerned with, so he can resolve them, and then he can do a
> "Mash-up/Mesh-up" with the data he gets back to offer lots more data to his
> customers, from a very wide range of sites.

No one is doing that though!

This is an overly dramatic example; but:


You aren't seeing a lot of the simple, easy tricks that come with
data published as linked data being talked about.

Its not easy to get a triplestore up and running in 5 easy steps, its not
easy to see the benefit of modelling your data, its not easy to see why
linked data and cool uris are better than printing out a whole bunch of JSON
from your web application.
Received on Saturday, 4 April 2009 09:56:02 UTC

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