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What is a WebID?

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2012 09:38:09 -0400
Message-ID: <509129C1.2010901@openlinksw.com>
To: "public-rww@w3.org" <public-rww@w3.org>, "public-webid@w3.org" <public-webid@w3.org>

In the last 48 hours following TPAC, a definition of what a WebID has 
emerged. It reads as follows: "WebID" (hash HTTP URI which denotes an 
Agent. Where you can GET an RDF model as TURTLE.) .

I believe this definition is unnecessary inflexible albeit well intended.


A URI is an opaque identifier.

A Linked Data URI is a de-referencable URI that denotes an entity in 
such a way that when de-referenced said URI resolves to a description 
document of its referent. Put differently, you have two routes to the 
same document content i.e., the first being the entity name (URI) and 
the other being the entity description document address (URI/URL). 
Ideally, the content of the document in question takes the form of RDF 
model based structured data represented (or expressed) using an entity 
relationship graph.

A WebID supposed to be a Linked Data URI.

HTTP, hash URIs, and even the RDF data model are specific implementation 
details. They are collectively cost-effective and useful, but none of 
that makes them mandatory items for specs relating to Linked Data, 
Web-scale identity verification, or Web-scale resource access control.

The architecture of the Web is deliberately abstract thereby enabling 
powerful loose coupling of data access protocols, data representation 
formats, and semantics.

Simple Example:

At this point in time, should this definition hold, the hashless 
ProxyURIs that we use to watermark X.509 certificates for holders of 
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, G+ etc.. accounts are all rendered non 
conforming, just like that.


I am officially lodging my opposition to this definition of a URI that 
serves as a WebID.



Kingsley Idehen	
Founder & CEO
OpenLink Software
Company Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Personal Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
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Received on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 13:38:42 UTC

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