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

On 25 June 2013 06:19, David Booth <> wrote:

> On 06/22/2013 04:47 AM, Nathan Rixham wrote:
>> What it means now, or at any point in time, must be inclusive to new
>> in-development or in-use things, other wise it will never mean anything
>> else later down the line.
>> If you want it to mean a very specific set of things at any one time,
>> then take "Linked Data" down the standardization path and give it fixed
>> versions which are RECs.
>> I don't see anybody saying "don't use RDF" or "RDF is a bad idea for
>> Linked Data, use Y instead". I just see some people inferring that RDF
>> precludes all other things, and other people saying why should it
>> preclude everything else?
> RDF does not *preclude* anything else.  Documents can certainly be both
> RDF *and* something else, such as JSON or XML or HTML.  In fact, as long as
> a standard mapping to the RDF model is available, *any* document format can
> be interpreted as RDF.
> The problem is that some people are claiming that RDF is not a *necessary*
> component of Linked Data.  If you take Linked Data to simply mean "data
> that is linked", then of course RDF is not necessary.  But if you take the
> term to refer to "the Semantic Web done right" or something similar that is
> intended to support the goals of the Semantic Web -- as most of us
> apparently do -- then RDF is currently *necessary*, because the Semantic
> Web relies on having a standard, universal data model to enable
> applications to automatically meaningfully combine independently created
> data.
> Think about it.  How else could applications automatically meaningfully
> combine independently created data without having special out-of-band
> information about that data?  Without a standard universal data model each
> application would have to understand *all* of the data models used by any
> of the data sources that it may wish to access -- a massive data
> integration problem.
> A key insight of the Semantic Web architecture is that by adopting a
> *standard* universal data model, this integration problem can be
> dramatically simplified for applications that wish to combine Web data:
> instead of having to understand N data models, the application only needs
> to understand *one*, regardless of the data sources.  To whatever extent
> you depart from using *one* universal data model, you are departing from
> that central vision of the Semantic Web, just as to whatever extent you
> depart from using *one* universal identification scheme -- URIs -- you are
> departing from the central vision of the regular Web and creating walled
> gardens -- just like in the days before the Web.
> Can Semantic-Web-ish applications be built that understand the multiple
> universal data models used by those walled gardens (and internally unify
> them into their own private data models)?  Of course.  But that is the
> *opposite* of what the Semantic Web is all about.
> The Semantic Web is not about building applications that are so smart that
> they can understand a plethora of different data models.  It is about
> enabling applications that are so *stupid* that they don't *have* to
> understand a plethora of different data models.
>  ps: I'd be very wary about saying that any web tech is ".. *the*
>> universal ..", many of them are Uniform, non are truly universal,even
>> within their specific domains,
> I beg to differ.  URIs (or their extension, IRIs) -- the standard
> universal identification scheme for the Web -- are so fundamental to the
> Web, that IMO if you do not have URIs you do not have the Web.  URIs are
> what make it *the* Web, as opposed to a collection of fiefdoms, which is
> what the Internet was before TimBL invented the Web.
>  and any such claims will always be
>> disagreed with by somebody as they are always untrue claims and
>> alternatives always exist.
> Really?  Can you show me an existing alternative to URIs, that you can
> write on the side of a bus and 20 strangers can read and, within 30
> seconds, all view the same document?   Similarly, can you show me an
> existing alternative to RDF, that allows applications to automatically
> meaningfully combine independently authored data, without out-of-band
> knowledge of that data?  Perhaps alternatives to URIs and RDF exist in
> theory, but I have not seen them in practice.

David, i suggest you look at the work done standards bodies such as the
IETF and OWFa.  If you are to make claims that there's no linked data out
there other than RDF, you're going to A) upset a lot of people B) have to
educate yourself on all other projects, before making that determination
either for yourself, or, as you seem to be trying, on behalf 1000+ people

I'll provide one case study, but I stress that the onus is on you to back
up your claims by analysing at all the alternatives out there.  Something
that you have admittedly not yet done.

If you follow planet RDF, you may have noticed a move from some of the big
web2.0 players to move the popular activity streams standard into something
more consistent with LD

Now I'm sure your response would be "use RDF or it's not linked data".
It's dialogue like this that pushes people away from the semantic web, and
has given RDF a bad name.  As it happens, the JSON LD have been very
supportive, and it's great to say that big eco systems such as Google,
Microsoft, Facebook, move closer to interop.  Tolerance is the hardest of
the web axioms, but perhaps the most rewarding!

> In short, if a document does not have a URI, it is not "on the Web".
> Similarly, if data is not standards-interpretable as RDF, it is not
> Semantic Web data, and hence it is not what most of us would call Linked
> Data.
> David Booth

Received on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 10:09:14 UTC