Re: What Does Point Number 3 of TimBL's Linked Data Mean?

On 06/21/2013 07:03 PM, Nathan Rixham wrote:
> Linked Data is a moving target, it's not Linked Data 1.0, 1.1, 2.0 etc,
> it's a set of technologies which make it easy to have machine readable
> data that is interlinked on the web.

Okay, but that is kind of like saying that the Web is a moving target 
because of the many technologies that come and go.  While that may be 
true, those technologies are not key to what makes the Web the Web. 
Certain key technologies are foundational and change little if at all: 
namely the use of URIs as the standard universal identification scheme.

Similarly, although query languages like SPARQL and formats like Turtle, 
RDF/XML and JSON-LD may come and go, those technologies are *not* what 
makes the Semantic Web the Semantic Web.  RDF is *key* to making 
Semantic Web data easily machine interpretable and combinable, because 
it is *the* universal data model on which the Semantic Web is based.  It 
could evolve slowly, just has URIs are slowly evolving to permit IRIs, 
but and it could eventually be supplanted by a new standard universal 
data model.  But for now and the foreseeable future it is the standard 
universal data model for the Semantic Web.

> If Linked Data is built on HTTP currently, then the media types used
> have to be registered, which limits the set, but this set of supported
> mediatypes can and will change over time, as will the protocols used, as
> will the ontologies and the data, and so forth.
> You can't lock it in stone, or preclude innovation and new
> specifications, common sense and basic web architecture entail using
> URIs/IRIs, common protocols (HTTP), registered media types, and so
> forth, but if a large eco system of data in a new media type is
> developed or an older one bootstrapped and commonly supported, it's
> going to be Linked Data.
> Interoperability, modularity, and, tolerance - they're all critical, and
> none of them entail forever using only RDF and SPARQL

Forever is a long time.  Certainly the foundations of the Web and the 
Semantic Web could be re-architected or supplanted eventually.  But 
there is a vast difference between using a new a media type, a new query 
language or even a new protocol, and using a new identification scheme 
(URIs) or a new universal data model (RDF).

For the foreseeable future, RDF is *essential* to the Semantic Web 
because the Semantic Web relies on having a standard universal data 
model, just as URIs are *essential* to the Web because the Web relies on 
having a standard universal identification scheme.

Therefore, if you believe that Linked Data is intended to support the 
goals of the Semantic Web, or if you believe that Linked Data is "the 
Semantic Web done right", then for the foreseeable future RDF is 
*required* for Linked Data (though the data does not have to *look* 
overtly like RDF).

We're talking about what the term "Linked Data" means *now* -- not what 
it might mean in 10, 20 or 50 years.


Received on Saturday, 22 June 2013 03:43:26 UTC