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Re: What can W3C do to help

From: Phil Archer <phila@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:56:48 +0000
Message-ID: <5465FC10.1060202@w3.org>
To: public-most-important-priorities@w3.org, Kjetil Kjernsmo <kjetil@kjernsmo.net>
For others' benefit, Kjetil has long been a member of the W3C Sem Web 
community and was recently named Semantic Web Developer of the year at ISWC.

Hi Kjetil,

Thanks for this - it's good to see that after, what, 10 years? we're 
still in alignment! By which I mean I agree entirely with your sentiment 
here - and am doing all I can to address it.

It's a year since we merged the Semantic Web and eGovernment Activities 
to form the Data Activity, a move that was motivated in part by the need 
to, as you suggest, bring regular Web Devs and Sem Web closer together. 
Very recently I spent time at TPAC talking to people like Doug Schepers 
and Robin Berjon - i.e. some of the W3T members who work most closely 
with Web developers - and asked them how they would solve this issue.

Some thoughts that are flying around but that have yet to coalesce into 
something coherent:

- We need APIs that provide access to data sources that are effectively 
behind a curtain so that the developer doesn't need to know or care 
where the data comes from, just that it comes (and that it's a JSON object).

- Thinking in graphs is alien to many people which is why SPARQL is seen 
as hard, so we should think "NoSPARQL." (I contend that SPARQL is easy, 
it's the graph thing that people find difficult which amounts to the 
same thing but, you know, semantics matter round here and we're 
professionally inveterate pedants).

- JSON-LD is a terrific bridge between worlds. The folks behind that 
have ideas for how to extend it. What they call framing is one [1]. I'd 
like to be able to point *from* a context file *to* a JSON object (via a 
URL) so that person B can publish an interpretation of person A's JSON. 
This is something I've been championing in the CSV WG too.

And using a simple JSON property could trigger queries (via an extended 
Context file or some other mechanism). I saw some work going on at UPM 
recently where they're running the same query every x seconds and then 
sending a push notification to a Web API when the result changes.

Lots could be done around this and the work on LD Fragments and Hydra 
APIs is all relevant and exciting.

- Data-centric Web applications often involve visualisation. D3, Raphael 
etc. are fabulous for example.

- The scientific research community has a *lot* of data - maybe that's a 
good environment to think about some of this and work towards easier APIs.

I believe there is a huge potential here with a lot of cool stuff 
perfectly possible using existing standards and frameworks, but it might 
help to put some of it together. Hmm... I feel a workshop coming on... 
Maybe in the first half of next year in Washington DC ;-)

Thanks again for raising this Kjetil - we're on it, and your support is 


[1] http://json-ld.org/spec/latest/json-ld-framing/


Phil Archer
W3C Data Activity Lead

+44 (0)7887 767755
Received on Friday, 14 November 2014 12:56:57 UTC

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