W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdf-dawg-comments@w3.org > February 2011

Re: "RDF Knowledge" (Uniform HTTP Protocol for Managing RDF Graphs)

From: Kjetil Kjernsmo <kjetil@kjernsmo.net>
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2011 21:42:12 +0100
To: public-rdf-dawg-comments@w3.org
Message-id: <201102072142.12958.kjetil@kjernsmo.net>
On Monday 7. February 2011 19:07:01 Chimezie Ogbuji wrote:
> Again, I'm saying that
> there is very little precedence that a developer who wants to expose
> an RDF dataset over HTTP (for Create Read Update Delete operations)
> can follow to do so.  That is what standards are for: to standardize
> where there is a need and little consensus.

I think the core of the problem: This is simply not true! The thing is that 
when you GET a URI and you get back a bunch of triples, it is 
indistinguishable from what people have been doing from the dawn of RDF, 
namely putting a file on a web server with those triples. Then using PUT, 
DELETE and POST operations RESTfully is then only the natural thing to do, in 
fact, the only thing of some importance that a developer really needs clarified 
is what POST does, all you need to say is that it adds triples.

Now, what complicates the matter is SPARQL 1.0s definition of what a graph URI 
identifies, and I must admit that I do not understand this fully myself, and it 
is a topic I'm trying to set aside time to fully understand. The other thing 
that complicates the issue is the indirect graph identification, which I have 
felt all along is of limited utility and something that could inhibit adoption 
of the protocol.

That's why everyone who I've shown this specification to has gone "huh? what 
does it really say?" You've taken something that's very familiar to thousands 
and thousands of developers, and scare them off by a bunch of definitions, which 
only serves to tell them that Semantic Web is a lot more complicated than they 
initially thought. 

It is my opinion that the spec should be tied very strongly to concepts that 
those hords of developers would recognize immediately, as it fits with how they 
have always manipulated files on a web server. Any part of the protocol that 
cannot be specified on those terms should be dropped.

We cannot afford the image that the Semantic Web is complicated. I truly 
believe it is the simplest thing that could possibly work and this protocol 
should have been really simple and familiar, but currently it isn't.

Kjetil Kjernsmo
Ph.d Research Fellow, Semantic Web
Received on Monday, 7 February 2011 20:42:54 UTC

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