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

On 6/28/09 6:33 PM, "Tom Heath" <> wrote:

> Hi Richard,
> 2009/6/25 Richard Cyganiak <>:
> <snip/>
>> (On the value of content negotiation in general: I think the key point is
>> that any linked data URI intended for re-use, when put into a browser by the
>> average person interested in linked data publishing, MUST return something
>> human-readable. That's a hard requirement, otherwise people will never be
>> confident about what a particular URI means and hence they won't re-use.
>> That was the thinking behind the Cool URIs note when Leo and I wrote it a
>> few years ago. In the past, the only way to get that effect was with content
>> negotiation, so even though content negotiation is a pain, it's what we had
>> to do. In the present, we have an alternative thanks to RDFa.
> Not disagreeing at all about the human readable requirement, but just
> a question... in this scenario you describe, is there not a risk that
> Joe User will enter that URI and come to the conclusion that it
> identifies the document (or section thereof), rather than a thing
> described in the document?
> Interested in your thoughts :)
> Tom.


Of course not, if dealing with an HTTP URI deployed in line with the Linked
Data meme's deployment guidelines. In short, the user will encounter a
document describing the Thing identified by the URI.

The issue is not the document, but what it represents (metadata) and how it
comes to be associated (implicitly) with the entity (resource) it describes
via the entities URI.

When all is said and done, the Linked Data meme has simply used HTTP to fix
an age old problem: implicit association of an Entity with its Metadata
within the context of distributed computing without any platform lock-in.

Rewind back to pre. Web, then ask yourself: how did programmers refer to
data objects and de-reference their representations (typically a proprietary
language and platform specific data structure).

Again, Linked Data is just about making what was platform specific, platform
independent, via HTTP i.e., "data access by reference" and "data
manipulation by values exposed by de-dereferenced data structures".

We really need to keep this quite simple. There are zillions of people that
understand "data access by reference" etc.. They also understand Metadata
etc.. What they don't understand is how we sometimes *inadvertently* make
this whole Linekd Data meme thing complex by not connecting the meme to what
existed before the Web (which was actually created on a computer that
already had a fully functional distributed object based OS etc..).


Received on Monday, 29 June 2009 02:47:19 UTC