Re: .htaccess a major bottleneck to Semantic Web adoption / Was: Re: RDFa vs RDF/XML and content negotiation

Hi Toby,

Toby A Inkster wrote:
> On 25 Jun 2009, at 21:18, Pat Hayes wrote:
>> If [RDF] requires people to tinker with files with names starting 
>> with a dot [...] then the entire SWeb architecture is fundamentally 
>> broken.
> RDF doesn't. Apache does.
> Many hosts do have front ends for configuring Apache, allowing 
> redirects to be set up and content-types configured by filling in 
> simple web forms. But there are such a variety of these tools with 
> different capabilities and different interfaces that it would be 
> difficult to produce advice suitable for them all, so instead 
> ".htaccess" recipes are provided instead.
> That said, there are a couple of steps that Martin could remove from 
> his recipe and still be promoting reasonably good practice:
> Step 5a - this rewrites <> to 
> <>. Other than aesthetics, there's 
> no real reason to do this. Yes, I've read timbl's old Cool URIs 
> document, and understand about not wanting to include hints of file 
> format in a URI. But realistically, this file is going to always 
> include some RDF - perhaps in a non-RDF/XML serialisation, but I don't 
> see anything inappropriate about serving other RDF serialisations 
> using a ".rdf" URL, provided the correct MIME type is used.
Yes - while it breaks my heart, we will uses URIs including the .rdf 
extension in the future. Comparing benefits and trouble caused, it is 
not worth pushing it.
> Step 5b - the default Apache mime.types file knows about 
> application/rdf+xml, so this should be unnecessary. Perhaps instead 
> have a GoodRelations "validator" which checks that the content type is 
> correct, and only suggests this when it is found to be otherwise.
Well, our experience is that about 30% of the servers don't use the 
proper mime type by default, which causes trouble with many semweb 
> Steps 3 and 4 could be amalgamated into a single "validate your RDF 
> file" step using the aforementioned validator. The validator would be 
> written so that, upon a successful validation, it offers single-click 
> options to ping semweb search engines, and Yahoo (via a 
> RDF/XML->DataRSS converter).
> With those adjustments, the recipe would just be:
>     1. Upload your RDF file.
>     2. Add a rel="meta" link to it.
>     3. Validate using our helpful tool.
Yes, that would be a good option. But actually I am prone to go for a 
more radical shift, which is offering just three alternative publication 

a) download RDF/XML or N3 file (for expert users)
b) download RDFa snippet that just represents the RDF/XML content (i.e. 
such that it does not have to be consolidated with the "presentation 
level" part of the Web page.
c) have us publish it on our servers (this will require some techniques 
of validating users, update / refresh - requires some more thoughts.



martin hepp
e-business & web science research group
universitaet der bundeswehr muenchen

phone:   +49-(0)89-6004-4217
fax:     +49-(0)89-6004-4620
www: (group) (personal)
skype:   mfhepp 
twitter: mfhepp

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Received on Friday, 26 June 2009 13:19:44 UTC