Re: Ending the Linked Data debate -- PLEASE VOTE *NOW*!


On 2013 Jun 13, at 19:36, Nathan <> wrote:


> So RDF may spring to mind when you say Linked Data, given it's so prevalent, but Linked Data refers to a set of things, RDF is just one of them.

RDF is indeed just one of the things implied by the term 'linked data', but RDF is (I'm pretty sure) the only data representation mechanism included in that bag of things.  An HTML page pointing to a CSV file is _not_ Linked Data, because it's not _data_ linking to data.

Even an XML file which points to a CSV or XML file (which is, sort of, data linking to data) isn't Linked Data, because the XML isn't universally interpretable (innovations such as XLink aside), enough that a machine can follow its nose.

It is a fallacy to say 'I have data, and I have linked to it; therefore I am deploying Linked Data and am officially k00l' (I'm not necessarily saying, Nathan, that this was your claim).  It is a fallacy because it misses the point.  The Linked Data key claim is (as I would characterise it) that the set of features that made the human-readable web so very successful are almost exactly portable to the machine-readable web if, _and only if_, you s/HTML/RDF/.

> Pointless, or are you going to do trademark the term and sue anybody who uses it to refer to anything other than RDF?

It's not a matter of trademarking, but that arbitrary terminological freedom destroys communication.  Humpty Dumpty be damned: if 'linked data' means whatever the speaker wants it to mean, today, then it doesn't mean anything stable,  and so it's useless, so the term should be abandoned.

'Linked Data' is a good label for a key concept (machine-readable web = human-readable web + s/HTML/RDF/).

All the best,


Norman Gray  :
SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK

Received on Thursday, 13 June 2013 19:04:50 UTC