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Re: WebID vs. JSON (Was: Re: Think before you write Semantic Web crawlers)

From: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 21:25:28 +0200
Message-ID: <BANLkTinAmriEXQ4eGVMsDWnGDf0iFNftMg@mail.gmail.com>
To: William Waites <ww@styx.org>
Cc: public-lod@w3.org
On 22 June 2011 16:41, William Waites <ww@styx.org> wrote:
> What does WebID have to do with JSON? They're somehow representative
> of two competing trends.
> The RDF/JSON, JSON-LD, etc. work is supposed to be about making it
> easier to work with RDF for your average programmer, to remove the
> need for complex parsers, etc. and generally to lower the barriers.
> The WebID arrangement is about raising barriers. Not intended to be
> the same kind of barriers, certainly the intent isn't to make
> programmer's lives more difficult, rather to provide a good way to do
> distributed authentication without falling into the traps of PKI and
> such.
> While I like WebID, and I think it is very elegant, the fact is that I
> can use just about any HTTP client to retrieve a document whereas to
> get rdf processing clients, agents, whatever, to do it will require
> quite a lot of work [1]. This is one reason why, for example, 4store's
> arrangement of /sparql/ for read operations and /data/ and /update/
> for write operations is *so* much easier to work with than Virtuoso's
> OAuth and WebID arrangement - I can just restrict access using all of
> the normal tools like apache, nginx, squid, etc..
> So in the end we have some work being done to address the perception
> that RDF is difficult to work with and on the other hand a suggestion
> of widespread putting in place of authentication infrastructure which,
> whilst obviously filling a need, stands to make working with the data
> behind it more difficult.
> How do we balance these two tendencies?

I think It's fine to use JSON / LD for a bunch of stuff, but adopting
WebID will pay back the investment over time, imho.

A machine readable, identity aware, world is where the Web is heading,
or maybe is where it started, but many of us failed to see it.

Perhaps it's possible to wait for the tool chains to catch up, or
build a bridge between the two, which is even better still.

> [1] examples of non-WebID aware clients: rapper / rasqal, python
> rdflib, curl, the javascript engine in my web browser that doesn't
> properly support client certificates, etc.
> --
> William Waites                <mailto:ww@styx.org>
> http://river.styx.org/ww/        <sip:ww@styx.org>
> F4B3 39BF E775 CF42 0BAB  3DF0 BE40 A6DF B06F FD45
Received on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 19:25:56 UTC

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