W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lod@w3.org > June 2011

Re: Squaring the HTTP-range-14 circle

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2011 21:16:35 +0100
Message-ID: <4DFA64A3.8040109@openlinksw.com>
To: public-lod@w3.org
On 6/16/11 6:53 PM, Giovanni Tummarello wrote:
> Hi Tim ,
>
> "documents" per se (a la HTTP response 200 response) on the web are 
> less and less relevant as opposed to the "conceptual entities" that 
> are represented by this document and  held e.g. as DB records inside 
> CMS, social networks etc.
>
> e.g. a social network is about "people" those are the important 
> entities. Then there might be 1000 different HTTP documents that you 
> can get e.g.i f you're logged if you're not logged, if you have a 
> cookie if you have another cookie, if you add &format=print. Specific 
> URLs are pretty irrelevant as they contain all sort of extra information.
>
> Layouts of CMS or web apps change all the time (and so do the HTML 
> docs) but not the entities.
>
> that's why "http response 200" level annotations are of such little 
> ambiguity really you say you have so many annotations about documents, 
> i honestly dont understand what you're referring to, are these HTTP 
> retrievable documents?

Tim is saying, and pretty clearly: there are a lot of resources in HTML 
format on the Web. You access these via URLs (Addresses). Basically, you 
GET data from Addresses.

> where are the annotations? are we talking about the http headers? 
> about the "meta" tags in the <head> these are about the subject of the 
> page too most of the time, not the page itself.

In these resources (projected as HTML documents) there is a lot of 
metadata. Dig a little deeper, there are also varying degrees of 
metadata in the HTTP responses. What doesn't exist is use of an 
abstraction whereby the Subject Matter items (what the HTML docs are 
about) are Identified by Names that resolve to their Representations 
which are best served via graph pictorials.

>
> and this is the idea behind schema.org <http://schema.org> (opengraph 
> whatever) which sorry Tim you have to live with and we have to do the 
> most with.
Tim is not saying he has a problem with schema.org. He might imply that 
schema.org is deviating from the aspect of AWWW that delivers the 
abstraction necessary for schema.org to refer to entities (data objects) 
by Names that are distinct from the Addresses of their Representation(s).

>
> When someone refers to a URL which embeds a opengraph or schema.org 
> <http://schema.org> annotation then it is 99.+ (with the number of 9 
> augmenting as the web evolves to a rich app platform) certain that 
> they refer to the entity described in it and not to the web document 
> itself (which can and does change all the time and is of overall no 
> conceptual relevance).

We are already dealing with the schema.org issues [1][2] the best way it 
can be handled until opportunity costs veer them towards upping the 
semantic fidelity of their contribution.

We can live with schema.org, but lets not conflate that effort with some 
vital fundamentals re. Linked Data and best practices based on AWWW. In 
my eyes, schema.org is a massive vector re. structured data injected 
into the Web. Semantic fidelity was never their focus. Basically, as 
stated in an older post, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Facebook and 
friends, all seek to contribute structured data from their respective 
data spaces, this already makes sense to them and is 100% compatible 
with their respective business models. Naturally, we would like them to 
do more, but you can't tell them to do more, all you can do is make 
opportunity costs palpable to them and eventually they will respond.

>
> With respect to schema.org <http://schema.org>, we (as semantic web 
> community) have not been ignored: our work and proposals have been 
> very well considered and then diregarded alltogether - and for several 
> reasons : 12 years of work, not an agreement on ontology, not an easy 
> way for people to publish data ( the 303 thing is a complete total 
> utter insanity (as i had said in vain so many times) ). etc.

303 isn't insanity! It is basic computing re. data access by reference. 
de-reference (indirection) and address-of operations are fundamental 
elements of any kind of environment that allows access, movement, and 
manipulation of data. You always have Names and Addresses. In fact, you 
have them in the real world, but I don't want veer down a discussion on 
semiotics and philosophy.

The Web of Documents works because Document Addresses (URLs) have become 
intuitive. Evolving the Web to a Linked Data Space is a little trickier 
with HTTP URIs because the Name operation unveils a powerful but 
unnatural abstraction due to the fact that an HTTP URI based Name looks 
and feels like an HTTP URI based Location Name (Address).

HTTP 303 is just doing what programming languages do behind the scenes 
whenever you access data objects by reference. If anything, its a 
tribute to the flexibility of the HTTP protocol. Basically, we have the 
Web now pulling of the same data access and manipulation capabilities 
that host operating systems have delivered to systems developers since 
forever.

[SNIP]

Kingsley
>
> Gio
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 7:04 PM, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org 
> <mailto:timbl@w3.org>> wrote:
>
>     I disagree with this post very strongly, and it is hard to know
>     where to start,
>     and I am surprised to see it.
>
>     On 2011-06 -13, at 07:41, Richard Cyganiak wrote:
>
>     > On 13 Jun 2011, at 09:59, Christopher Gutteridge wrote:
>     >> The real problem seems to me that making resolvable, HTTP URIs
>     for real world things was a clever but dirty hack and does not
>     make any semantic sense.
>     >
>     > Well, you worry about *real-world things*, but even people who
>     just worry about *documents* have said for two decades that the
>     web is broken because it conflates names and addresses.
>
>     No, some people didn't get the architecture in that they had
>     learned systems where there that
>     there was a big distinction between names and address, and they
>     had different properties,
>     and then they came across URIs which had properties of both.
>
>
>     > And they keep proposing things like URNs and info: URIs and tag:
>     URIs and XRIs and DOIs to fix that and to separate the naming
>     concern from the address concern. And invariably, these things
>     fizzle around in their little niche for a while and then mostly
>     die, because this aspect that you call a “clever but dirty hack”
>     is just SO INCREDIBLY USEFUL. And being useful trumps making
>     semantic sense.
>
>     I agree ... except that ther URI architectre being like names and
>     like addresses isn't a "clever but dirty hack".
>
>     You then connect this with the idea of using HTTP URIs for
>     real-world things, which is a separate queston.
>     This again is a question of architecture. Of design of a system.
>     We can make it work either way.
>     We have to work out which is best.
>
>     I don't think 303 is a quick and dirty hack.
>     It does mean a large extension of HTTP to be uses with non-documents.
>     It does have efficiency problems.
>     It is an architectural extension to the web architecture.
>
>     >
>     > HTTP has been successfully conflating names and addresses since
>     1989.
>
>     That is COMPLETELY irrelevant.
>     It is not a question of the web being fuzzy or ambiguous and
>     getting away with it.
>     It is a clean architecture where the concepts of "name" and
>     "address" don't connect directly with those of people or files on
>     a disk or IP hosts.
>
>
>     >
>     > There is a trillion web pages out there, all named with URIs.
>     And even if just 0.1% of these pages are unambiguously about a
>     single specific thing, that gives us a billion free identifiers
>     for real-world entities, all already equipped with rich
>     *human-readable* representations, and already linked and
>     interconnected with *human-readable*, untyped, @href links.
>     >
>     > And these one billion URIs are plain old http:// URIs. They
>     don't have a thing:// in the beginning, nor a tdb://, nor a #this
>     or #that in the end, nor do they respond with 303 redirects or to
>     MGET requests or whatever other nutty proposals we have come up
>     with over the years to disambiguate between page and topic. They
>     are plain old http:// URIs. A billion.
>     >
>     > Then add to that another huge number that already responds with
>     JSON or XML descriptions of some interesting entity, like the one
>     from Facebook that Kingsley mentioned today in a parallel thread.
>     Again, no thing:// or tdb:// or #this or 303 or MGET on any of them.
>     >
>     > I want to use these URIs as identifiers in my data, and I have
>     no intention of redirecting through an intermediate blank node
>     just because the TAG fucked up some years ago.
>
>     If you want to give yourself the luxury of being able to refer to
>     the subject of a webpage, without having to add anthing to
>     disambiguate it from the web page, then for the sake of your
>     system, so you can use the billion web pages for your purposes,
>     then you now stop other like me from using semantic web systems to
>     refer to those web pages, or in fact to the other hundred million
>     web pages either.
>
>     Maybe you should an efficient way of doing what you want without
>     destroying the system (which you as well have done so much to build)
>
>
>
>     >
>     > I want to tell the publishers of these web pages that they could
>     join the web of data just by adding a few @rels to some <a>s, and
>     a few @properties to some <span>s, and a few @typeofs to some
>     <div>s (or @itemtypes and @itemprops). And I don't want to explain
>     to them that they should also change http:// to thing:// or tdb://
>     or add #this or #that or make their stuff respond with 303 or to
>     MGET requests because you can't squeeze a dog through an HTTP
>     connection.
>
>     Well actually I really want them to put metadata about BOTH the
>     document and its subject.
>
>     There is masses of metadata already about documents.
>
>     Now you want to make it ambiguous so I don't know whether it is
>     about the document or its subject?
>
>     I don't think something like about="#product" is rocket science or
>     unnatural.
>
>     I really want people to be able to use RDF or microdata to say
>     things about more than one thing in the same page
>
>     >
>     > And here you and Pat and Alan (and TimBL, for that matter) are
>     preaching that we can't use this one billion of fantastic free
>     URIs to identify things because it wouldn't make semantic sense.
>
>     We are saying that actually we already are using them to refer to
>     the web pages and that that is very important and so is all the
>     existing web.
>
>     >
>     > Being useful trumps making semantic sense.
>
>     That is romantic nonsense.  To be useful you need clean extensible
>     architecture,
>     well defined concepts.
>
>     > The web succeeded *because* it conflates name and address.
>
>     That is completely irrelevant nonsense.
>
>
>     It succeeded with a clean architecture using URIs for web pages,
>     and the # as punctuation syntax between the identifier of the page
>     and the local identifier within the page.
>
>
>     > The web of data will succeed *because* it conflates a thing and
>     a web page about the thing.
>     >
>     > <http://richard.cyganiak.de/>
>     >    a foaf:Document;
>     >    dc:title "Richard Cyganiak's homepage";
>     >    a foaf:Person;
>     >    foaf:name "Richard Cyganiak";
>     >    owl:sameAs <http://twitter.com/cygri>;
>     >    .
>     >
>     > There.
>     >
>     > If your knowledge representation formalism isn't smart enough to
>     make sense of that, then it may just not be quite ready for the
>     web, and you may have some work to do.
>
>     Formalisms aren't smart.
>     Sure, I can make a program to make sense of that.
>     But I'm not going to just to save you the effort of getting it right.
>
>     Disappointed by the intensity of your posting.
>     Systems have managed for a long time to distinguish between
>     library car and book,
>     between message header and message,
>     between a book and its subject.
>
>     Now we have masses of information about many books
>     and about many other things we have great value in it
>     Let's not mess it up.
>
>     If you want an ambiguous source of information, use natural language.
>     The power of data is that is a whole lot less ambiguous.
>
>     Tim
>
>     >
>     > Best,
>     > Richard
>     >
>
>
>


-- 

Regards,

Kingsley Idehen	
President&  CEO
OpenLink Software
Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca: kidehen
Received on Thursday, 16 June 2011 20:17:00 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 16:21:13 UTC