Re: RDF's challenge

I disagree completely that RDF is not Web-native. Read-write RDF Linked
Data is the way the Web was supposed to be, in my opinion.

On Jun 11, 2013 5:33 PM, "Alvaro Graves" <> wrote:

> When talking to web developers, they tell me they find little benefit on
> using RDF. This is due to two main reasons, in my opinion (there may be
> others, for sure):
> - Lack of usable tools: How many good, stable tools for managing data in
> RDF are available out there? How many are for CSV? Even an array of arrays
> is good enough sometimes.
> - Lack of usable data: In the case of Open Government Data, there are tons
> of CSV documents available. Modeling data as RDF requires an extra effort,
> which most people won't take, since they already have the data available.
> If you add the fact that tabular data is easier in many cases easier to
> understand (or at least we are more used to) I can understand why many
> developers don't like RDF. The cherry on top is the the fact that URIs are
> not human-friendly (ok, CURIEs makes it easier, I admit it), so the
> Semantic Web does not look very attractive to web developers.
> I do believe however that RDF is a great data model. For example, features
> of SPARQL 1.1, (I'm thinking on property paths here) and the use of
> inference can give you a powerful workbench to work with. I tend to agree
> with Rufus re. the diagnosis ("RDF is not web native"), but I differ in the
> solution. For me, instead of getting rid of a nice data model such as RDF,
> we need is to provide usable tools, usable for developers at least. I know
> there are many efforts on this regard, but there are many opportunities we
> haven't considered. We need easier ways to take data and convert it, manage
> it and use it, and the tools for that should be at least as simple as other
> common tools.
> I need to bring David Karger's article (based on his keynote at ESWC) at
> I think he expresses with great clarity some of the problems of the SemWeb
> community and RDF in particular.
> Alvaro Graves-Fuenzalida
> Web: - Twitter: @alvarograves
> On Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 1:49 PM, Phil Archer <> wrote:
>> Thanks for picking this up Kingsley.
>> I'd just like to highlight the end of the report [1] where I've described
>> what we're proposing to our members on this, namely a new WG that will look
>> specifically at CSV and the metadata needed to easily transform it into RDF
>> or any other format. Jeni's work and others are inputs to that group. All
>> being well it'll be chartered in the early autumn but we have hoops to go
>> through first.
>> I gave a talk on this at SemTech last week and made a slidecast version
>> [2]. It sets out a bunch of things we're doing or proposing to do at W3C in
>> the imminent future.
>> Cheers
>> Phil.
>> [1]**report#next<>
>> [2]**semtech<>
>> On 11/06/2013 14:00, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
>>> All,
>>> "/RDF isn't natural --- and therefore is barely used --- by the average
>>> Web developer or data wrangler. CSV, by contrast, is. And you are going
>>> to need to win the hearts and minds of those folks for whatever approach
>>> is proposed/." -- Rufus Pollock (OKFN) [1][2].
>>> RDF is actually natural.  Unfortunately, narratives around it have now
>>> created the illusion that its unnatural. We observe our world using
>>> patterns much closer to RDF (entity relationship graphs) than CSV (when
>>> used a mechanism for Tabular representation of entity relationships).
>>> SPARQL enables one to expose RDF based data in a myriad of ways will
>>> also enabling easy to comprehend Linked Data utility (i.e., HTTP URI
>>> based super keys that specically resolve to documents that describe a
>>> URIs referent).
>>> Following the Open Data meeting I stumbled across a CSV browser [3]
>>> developed by @JeniIT . I took a quick look and realized it could provide
>>> the foundation addressing some of the confusion around Open Data, RDF,
>>> and Linked Data. Thus, I had one of our interns simply tweak the CSV
>>> browser such that on receipt of SPARQL-FED protocol URLs that resolve to
>>> CSV formatted data you end up with a Linked Data browser.
>>> The simple example above basically showcases how Linked Data aids data
>>> discovery using the Web's basic follow-your-nose exploration pattern by
>>> leveraging what CSV has to offer i.e., using a format that many (users
>>> and developers) are already familiar with as a bridge builder en route
>>> to showcasing the virtues of RDF, SPARQL, and Linked Data.
>>> Links:
>>> [1]**report<>-- Open Data Report.
>>> [2]
>>> it-radically-easier-to-get-**stuff-done-with-data/<>
>>> .
>>> [3]**linked-csv-browser<>-- CSV Brower
>>> [4]**linked-csv-browser/pulls<>-- pull request
>>> that sniffs for HTTP URIs and then makes them live links
>>> [5] -- tweaked version of CSV browser showcasing
>>> effects of live links based on a SPARQL-FED URL (Ordnance Survey) that
>>> returns data in CSV format
>>> [6] -- ditto using data form
>> --
>> Phil Archer
>> W3C eGovernment
>> +44 (0)7887 767755
>> @philarcher1

Received on Tuesday, 11 June 2013 16:05:47 UTC