Re: Linked Data discussions require better communication

On 6/20/13 10:40 PM, David Booth wrote:
> On 06/20/2013 04:46 PM, Melvin Carvalho wrote:
>> It's taken 5 years+ to simplify things down to the
>> Linked Data meme ("The semantic web done right") and is starting to gain
>> some traction.
>> [ . . . ]
>> The beauty of of LD is that it's simple and can be understood by a wide
>> range or people (especially outside academia).  In terms of branding
>> it's valid to feel that conflating LD and RDF would be a premature
>> optimization.
> But if you *believe* that Linked Data is "the semantic web done right" 
> then unless you intend to re-architect the semantic web, RDF is 
> *essential*, because RDF is the universal data model that was chosen 
> for the semantic web.  And without a universal data model you get 
> walled gardens of data that cannot be used together.  And that is the 
> *opposite* of what the semantic web is all about.
> This point was more fully explained here:
> David

The problem here is that *essential* is ambiguous in this context. I say 
that because it implies SHOULD to some and MUST to others. It's much 
simpler, and less problematic, if one uses less ambiguous words, in this 
kind of context.

Linked Data isn't necessarily about the Semantic Web, but that doesn't 
dissociate it from the Semantic Web. As I've said in the past, the Web 
isn't necessarily devoid of entity relationship semantics, the issue is 
that granularity and perceptibility of said entity relationships on the 
Web varies.

If I recall, Hugh Glaser even commented about folks talking about Linked 
Data on this list because folks on the Semantic Web list didn't want to 
discuss it (or something along those lines). Pat Hayes made reference to and RDF, which I pointed out to him is more RDF and not 
Linked Data, I provided a simple test to make my point.

The Web is like a massive jigsaw puzzle game. Each resource is a 
puzzle-piece. Once we step beyond the boundaries of how its wired 
(technically and philosophically) we end up with something that doesn't 
work, due to the technical and social inertia that manifests as a 

When I look at the Web the following patterns stick out to me as being 

1. "view source" -- enabled use of HTML without actually knowing HTML en 
route to World Wide Web reaching critical mass

2. file create, save, and share -- for collaborative creation and 
sharing of documents comprised of structured content (this is still a 
pursuit around with RWW and LDP related efforts are focused)

3. "just do it!" -- a simple mindset whereby folks just get on with 
stuff without seeking the permission of controllers  (DBpedia and LOD 
are classic exemplars and reminders).

1-3 are extremely crowd-friendly.

You see, anything that impedes the process of crowd engagement is 
ultimately bad for the Web. This is why (I believe) all attempts to 
mandate RDF in the context of Linked Data simply stifle the 
crowd-friendly (and tolerant) nature of the Web that's critical to any 
of its core components.

The Semantic Web and RDF etc.. are labels respectively associated with 
aspects of the Web's broader vision and a collection of tools for 
getting there. If everyone is exploiting the Web do we really care about 
their preferred label?

Today, we are pretty much close to what many sought in the early days of 
this journey i.e., unambiguous names for everything which includes 
concrete and abstract concepts.

Documents, Hashtags, Relations, Relationships, People, Music, Books 
etc.. are all denoted using de-referencable URIs that resolve to useful 
information. The Web has actually tweaked itself by leveraging the 
dexterity inherent in its own architecture. Those who appeared to be 
trying to break the Web have ended up upgrading the Web.

Facebook (5-star Linked Data and new support of hashtags), Google 
(, GKG, and hashtags), and Twitter (via hashtags) are examples 
of Data Spaces on the Web with ever increasing resolution -- with 
regards to the entity relationships semantics that underlie their Linked 
Data (resources or data objects).

The industry behemoths mentioned above are all using a data model that's 
compatible with RDF i.e., that are all exposing triple (or 3-tuple) 
based entity relationships that are increasingly accessible via HTTP URIs.

BTW -- in the early days of the Linked Open Data (LOD) effort, TimBL 
used to say "this is the Web done right" [1][2] . As you can see, there 
is a theme and a pattern here  -- once you look at the data that's 
already on the Web.


1. -- 
"the Web done right" quote by TimBL circa. 2008
-- ditto
3. -- "the Semantic Web 
done right, and the Web done right"  quote by TimBL circa.
4. -- TimBL describing Linked 
5. -- Linked Data 
explained in a single slide
-- basically, URI everything and everything is cool.



Kingsley Idehen	
Founder & CEO
OpenLink Software
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Received on Friday, 21 June 2013 12:01:47 UTC