W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdf-comments@w3.org > June 2013

Re-definition of Linked Data

From: Markus Lanthaler <markus.lanthaler@gmx.net>
Date: Sun, 16 Jun 2013 15:15:39 +0200
To: "'public-rdf-comments'" <public-rdf-comments@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00ef01ce6a93$99a1d620$cce58260$@lanthaler@gmx.net>
David Booth raised concerns that we are re-defining Linked Data in the
JSON-LD spec. That's certainly not the intention. We just try give the
reader an idea what we mean when we use the term throughout the document.
IMO it would be very weird to not do so and thus I wouldn't like to remove
that explanation completely. So let me try to make a proposal which sounds
more like an explanation than a definition.

The current text reads as follows:

  Linked Data is a technique for creating a network of inter-connected
  data across different documents and Web sites. In general, Linked Data
  has four properties: 1) it uses IRIs to name things; 2) it uses HTTP
  IRIs for those names; 3) the name IRIs, when dereferenced, provide
  more information about the thing; and 4) the data expresses links to
  data on other Web sites. These properties allow data published on the
  Web to work much like Web pages do today. One can start at one piece
  of Linked Data, and follow the links to other pieces of data that are
  hosted on different sites across the Web.

Here's a very rough draft about how we could paraphrase this to not make it
sound like a definition:

  The World Wide Web is a global information space consisting of
  documents and other resources connected by hyperlinks. The same
  principles that underpin the document-based Web can also be used for
  data. In fact, identifying things, i.e. entities and their properties
  with IRIs (Internationalized Resource Identifiers as described in
  [RFC3987]; a generalized form of URLs) is often beneficial because it
  means that those IRIs can be resolved to find more information about
  those things. Such data is often called Linked Data. As Figure 1
  illustrates, it has the form of directed graphs, meaning that every
  property points from a node to another node or value.
  <<image showing the default graph of Figure 1, no named graphs yet>>

                      Figure 1: A Linked Data Graph
  JSON-LD is a lightweight syntax to serialize Linked Data in JSON

David, would that address your concerns? Could you (and of course also the
rest of the RDF WG) live with something like this?

Pat, what about the editorial concerns you raised? Do you think this is
enough clarify that the data model is based on directed graphs early enough
in the document?


Markus Lanthaler
Received on Sunday, 16 June 2013 13:16:09 UTC

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