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Re: [JSON] object-based JSON vs. triple-based JSON

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2011 16:37:15 -0500
Message-ID: <4D77F30B.1020205@digitalbazaar.com>
To: RDF WG <public-rdf-wg@w3.org>
On 03/09/11 15:10, Sandro Hawke wrote:
> On Wed, 2011-03-09 at 14:44 -0500, Manu Sporny wrote:
>> Just wanted to get some thoughts down while they were fresh in my mind
>> concerning the two camps issue related to RDF in JSON. Instead of
>> defining these two camps as "human-friendly" and "machine-friendly",
>> perhaps it would be better to define the two camps as "object-based" and
>> "triple-based"
>
> [offlist, but feel free to quote and reply on-list if you like.]

Sandro - responding onlist because you (always?) make good points and I
want to make sure that I'm being crystal clear and making sense (as I've
failed to do that several times in these discussions and I don't want
that to continue to muddy the waters).

> I disagree with several steps of your argument here, but I agree we
> should focus on object-based instead of triple-based approaches, so I
> think I'll just leave it there.

Don't just leave it there! :) If there are holes in my argumentation, we
should expose them so that we're sure of the reason(s) we're picking one
approach over the other.

> Well, maybe one thing.  You claim RDF/XML is a failure based on it not
> being indexed by search engines.  But you say JSON is a success.  So,
> using your metric: how many search engines index JSON....?  
> 
> The point is that RDF/XML is not part of the HTML Web, and that's why
> it's not indexed by search engines.   I think that's also the main
> reason RDFa has a healthier adoption curve; it leverages the Web better.
> It's not clear to me these arguments apply to this JSON argument.

Yes, good point - that's true. I wasn't trying to say that "you must be
indexed by search engines to be successful". What I was attempting to
convey were two separate points about how to measure success:

1. One metric that you can use to tell if JSON is successful is the
   number of web developers that immediately think of JSON when they
   want to transmit data to/from a Web Service (millions of developers).
   That is the sort of mindshare that we want with RDF in JSON.
2. One metric that you can use to tell if HTML+RDFa is succeeding
   is the number of search engine companies indexing the data (every
   single one). There may be many other metrics. What metric would
   you like to use to state that RDF/XML was successful?

There were also two separate points about /why/ each was successful:

1. JSON was successful because it was directly aligned with a data
   model that many people were already using (JavaScript/associative
   arrays).
2. HTML+RDFa is succeeding because it is aligned with a data model
   that many people were already using (HTML).

We could apply the points above to RDF/XML like so:

1. [Measure of success] Hardly anyone wants to use RDF/XML when they
   need to transmit data to/from a Semantic Web Service. I think many
   people would pick TURTLE over "RDF/XML" for almost anything RDF
   related today. So, RDF/XML fails the "mindshare" test.
2. [Measure of success] The people that create the Web are not
   publishing RDF/XML in large quantities and therefore search
   companies are not indexing RDF/XML data feeds.
3. [why was RDF/XML not successful] RDF/XML did not succeed because it
   was not aligned with a data model that many people were using.

So, in order for RDF in JSON to be successful, I think we could use
these metrics:

1. Millions of web developers immediately think "RDF in JSON" (or
   whatever we end up calling it) when they need to transmit data
   to/from a Semantic Web Service. They will think this because
   they already use JSON and "RDF in JSON" will not be that different
   from what they use today.
2. "RDF in JSON" succeeds because it is aligned with a data model
   that many people are already using (object-based JSON).

Did that clarify what I was attempting to convey or do you still see
major holes in the argument?

-- manu

-- 
Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Payment Standards and Competition
http://digitalbazaar.com/2011/02/28/payment-standards/
Received on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 22:05:47 UTC

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