Re: Linked Data discussions require better communication

On 6/20/13 9:37 AM, Courtney, Paul K. wrote:

> Seems the same was happening here. I gather that Kingsley was 
> attempting to ensure that we don’t forget that the roots of RDF and 
> triples goes way back to early work on E-R diagrams.


My fundamental point is that RDF has generated bad-will across many 
quarters due to problems with its marketing and technical narratives. 
Examples of problematic narratives include:

1. making it easy for people conclude (incorrectly) that RDF invented 
the triple

2. inferring that Linked Data (compatible with TimBL's original meme) 
can only be produced using RDF

3. distancing RDF from "inference" and "reasoning" -- *interpretation* 
and understanding (*sense*) are outcomes of inference and reasoning

4. inferring that Linked Data (compatible with TimBL's revised meme) 
infers it can only be produced using RDF while overlooking equal 
standing given to RDF and SPARQL in said revision

5. failure to acknowledge the important role of Entity Relationship 
Modeling and Entity Attribute Value + Classes & Relationships (EAV/CR) 
re., RDF genealogy.

As you can see, nothing good comes out of 1-4. Thus, I've always felt 
these matters could be straightened out via civil debate. Each time I 
try (and this isn't the first time) the response is the same, I get 
reactions from certain profiles of individuals that simply want to 
debate shutdown. Basically, they would like RDF to be devoid of 
constructive criticism (most of which boils to down to provincial 
narratives) because of strange fear that too many are already heavily 
invested in it etc..

> Fine. And it seems others were frustrated because they didn’t want to 
> lose the hard-won set of W3C specifications and standards that would 
> enable Linked Data to be more than a theoretical exercise. Also good. 
> But it wasn’t clear to me for a while what Kingsley’s intent was in 
> his posts – some context would have been very helpful to me.

I did provide context [1]. I am very conscious of the complexity of 
debates across any media (in person or online), so I do actually put a 
lot of effort into examples that are web-accessible [2]. I even 
visualize [3] when I sense prose (and inevitable typos) are getting in 
the way.

> It was only when I remembered that Virtuoso takes data from a very 
> wide variety of sources that it occurred to me that Kingsley’s 
> perspective involves looking for triples anywhere and everywhere 
> regardless of the source format & syntax. I could be wrong so I’m 
> checking my assumptions up front here.

You are spot on! We've been through the many trenches associated with 
data representation, access, integration, and management. In addition, 
I've have many debates across many forums (including ontlog [4]) about 
RDF. These debates (which might surprise some) aren't always about what 
I might think in wrong with RDF narratives, in many of these cases I am 
trying to avert the kinds of problems experienced with JSON-LD [5] and 
more than likely will revisit with LDP (Linked Data Platform) [6].
> Perhaps if this kind of thread starts up again:
>  1. Restate/reflect ideas that in other posts that are
>     troubling/puzzling and ask for confirmation or clarification.
>  2. Restate the actual subject and focus of the discussion; the
>     subject line just doesn’t always cut it.
>  3. Do more explication with the awareness that we might be talking
>     about two (or more!) related but separate ideas/concepts. Or we
>     could be using the same terms but with slightly different definitions.
>  4. Define the terms inline rather than just linking out. One’s
>     interpretation of an external standard or specification could be
>     different from someone else’s, so I think it would be good to own it.
> I learn so much from most of the discussions that do take place since 
> I am still learning how the semantic web works – I get it on a 
> conceptual level but I’m really interested in how to ground the 
> conceptual model in a useful, usable form. I look forward to many 
> other interesting threads.

On my part, I have no problem going the extra mile. I also believe 
(passionately) that open and civil debate is healthy. It only concerns 
me when I sense that others seemingly want to shut down debates while 
not addressing the concerns that underlie these debates.



1. -- 
RDF's challenge (my initial post) .

-- a document that demonstrates web-like construction of structured data 
using triples in a manner isn't uniquely RDF unless it invented the triple.

3. -- illustrating how Identifiers (e.g., URIs), 
Structured Data (e.g., Linked Data), and Predicate Logic (RDF) are related.

4. -- 
one of many Ontolog debates about RDF misconceptions arising from RDF 
1.0 (circa. 2004 worldview where RDF/XML and RDF were easily 
misconstrued as being one and the same i.e., RDF was an XML syntax etc..).

5. -- 
start of tangle between David Booth and I (missing context: JSON-LD 
wants to be an W3C RDF group recommendation, so their world view rules, 
that's common sense) .

-- here Henry Story (and I) continuosly remind this group that it is 
supposed to be compliant with RDF and Linked Data bearing the nature of 
the W3C it is trying to produce .

7. -- Sign Relation.

8. -- Taxonomy of Entity Relationship 

> Paul Courtney
> [1] Gruber, Thomas R. <> (June 
> 1993). "A translation approach to portable ontology specifications" 
> <> (PDF). 
> /Knowledge Acquisition 
> <>/*5* (2): 199–220.
> :~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:~:
> Paul K. Courtney, MS
> Applications Specialist/Biomedical Informaticist
> Information Systems
> Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
> T: 617.582.7389
> C: 603.727.8171
> F: 617.632.4030
> On 6/20/13 7:15 AM, "Kingsley Idehen" < 
> <>> alleged:
> On 6/19/13 10:47 PM, Young,Jeff (OR) wrote:
>     My impression is that Kingsley is arguing that triples is triples.
>     Concrete syntax is irrelevant, even if those triples are barely
>     recognizable by naive agents. If that's what he's saying, I would
>     agree. Converting barely recognizable triples into a standard form
>     is a trivial process.
> Yes, that's my point. It's why I say that RDF didn't invent the Triple.
> I've posted a document denoted with the URI/URL
> <> 
> in defense of my claim :-)
> Kingsley
>     Jeff
>     ________________________________________
>     From: David Booth
>     Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 10:20:49 PM
>     To: Young,Jeff (OR)
>     Cc: Luca Matteis; Kingsley Idehen; Linked Data community
>     Subject: Re: Proof: Linked Data does not require RDF
>     Hi Jeff,
>     I guess I could have said *concrete*-syntax-independent to be more
>     precise -- to distinguish it from the *abstract* syntax (or model) --
>     but "serialization-independent" works too.  Or "format-independent".
>     David
>     On 06/19/2013 09:55 PM, Young,Jeff (OR) wrote:
>         David,
>         I think you've confused syntax-independence with
>         serialization-independence. RDF is syntax-dependent. The syntax is
>         triples. OTOH, triple syntax can be serialized in a wide
>         variety of
>         ways.
>         Jeff
>             -----Original Message----- From: David Booth
>             [] Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
>             9:42 PM
>             To: Luca Matteis Cc: Kingsley Idehen; Linked Data community
>             Subject: Re: Proof: Linked Data does not require RDF
>                     Can you please then setup a pool asking "Does
>                     creating and
>                     publishing Linked Data require knowledge of RDF?"
>             I would be willing to make such a poll if it seemed that
>             people
>             wanted it, but I don't think it is necessary.  There are
>             *many*
>             document formats that can carry RDF, and it seems
>             self-evident that
>             someone who publishes an RDF-interpretable format like
>             JSON-LD or
>             (GRDDL-enabled) XML may not understand RDF **at
>             all**.  This is one
>             of the great benefits of RDF being syntax
>             independent.  The JSON-LD
>             group understood this very well and did a great job
>             crafting the
>             JSON-LD spec to ensure that web developers would *not* have to
>             understand RDF in order to happily publish their JSON-LD.
>             If the data is *interpretable* as RDF, then who cares
>             whether the
>             publisher understood RDF?  It seems irrelevant to me.
>             David
> -- 
> Regards,
> Kingsley Idehen
> Founder & CEO
> OpenLink Software
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Kingsley Idehen 
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OpenLink Software
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Received on Thursday, 20 June 2013 15:27:53 UTC