W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xg-webid@w3.org > November 2011

Re: Normative vs Informative

From: Mo McRoberts <mo.mcroberts@bbc.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2011 08:22:32 +0000
Cc: public-xg-webid@w3.org
Message-Id: <DF818A80-0FB0-4ED7-86F5-AA966D5BB49B@bbc.co.uk>
To: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Last e-mail on this, because there’s a limit to how willing I am to try to constructively engage with ad-hominem-filled threads.

On 29 Nov 2011, at 01:01, Kingsley Idehen wrote:

>> > If WebID was about Henry, I would have kissed it goodbye this weekend.
>> > And certainly after this post. Unfortunately, as I've stated repeatedly,
>> > it isn't about Henry or I. It's about solving a serious problem by
>> > leveraging the in-built architecture of the World Wide Web where RDF is
>> > an option.
>> Enough with the “leveraging architecture” waffle.
> So to you the following == waffle:
> 1. identity data object with de-referencable URIs
> 2. provide useful information in the form of object descriptions via EAV/SPO based graphs
> 3. reference other things via URIs.
> Ah! It stops being waffle if I say:
> 1. identity data object with de-referencable URIs
> 2. provide useful information in the form of object descriptions via EAV/SPO based graphs
> 3. Use standards: RDF and SPARQL
> 4. reference other things via URIs.


For the record, I can't stand SPARQL.

No. What was waffle was that paragraph quoted above. It stops being waffle when you start talking about specific technical points, which is perversely what you did when you said “So to you the following == waffle”. Can you not see the difference between the rambling paragraph of ad-hominems and the list of technical facets? Really?

> RDF is the standard for what exactly? Please really think before responding since RDF is not what you might hope it is should you follow its on specs and abstract syntax. As I've told you already, RDF passes (just about) as an option for implementing Linked Data graphs, so conflating RDF and Linked Data is flawed. They are not the same thing. You can make Linked Data if you use RDF in a specific way. The key to Linked Data lies in the behavior of de-referencable URIs. That gem comes from the architecture of the world wide web itself!

Where in the e-mail that you're replying to did I mention RDF _at all_? 

>> PLEASE. Focus on the _technical issues_.
> I guess explaining how hyperlinks deliver de-reference and address-of operations at InterWeb scale == waffle, right? Ditto when you intermingle that with a Linked Data structure (which is a skill moderate programmers posses outside the Web realm). 

You're not *explaining* anything.

>> > I am moving on, you'll come to understand my concerns in due course,
>> > that I am 100% certain about.
>> Be 100% certain all you like, but I think you’ll find you don’t speak for my interests.
> Clearly, and you weren't my target. Remember, you sought to have WebID tightly scoped to RDF/XML.

That’s… a remarkable mischaracterisation.

> You even prefer RDF/XML over HTML based object descriptors.

Guilty. I recognise that WWW architecture has included multiple content types for almost as long as the WWW has existed, and <link>, Accept:, Vary:, and Link: for longer than most people who use the Web today have been, and that my _preference_ is not to stuff graphs into HTML when you can stuff them into documents whose format is designed for that purpose, often with a great deal less brittleness. My personal preference for PUBLICATION has little bearing upon ensuring that consumers can work sanely — the means by which I wish to publish a WebID profile is already part of the spec; in that sense I’ve “won” (although I haven’t, because I didn’t take part in any decision to do that), so it doesn’t matter to me as a publisher whether other serialisations are there are not. That’s the extent to which my preferences apply in this regard.

As an implementor, and as somebody trying to ensure that WebID is supported by some others, I’m acutely conscious of the need for the spec to be concrete and detail a uniform approach — whether it specifies RDF, non-RDF, CSV, EDIFACT, or whatever.

> You just cannot be my target. That said, you aren't representative re. WebID boostrap profile. The target profile I have in mind is the Web 2.0 developer. 

What does that even mean?

>> Nobody asked you to “move on” — in fact, nobody asked you to do anything but drop the rhetoric.
>> > BTW -- can I have some links to WebID compliant stuff you've implemented?
>> If I had links to share I would’ve already — what I have isn’t public (because it’s tied into other applications), and certainly isn’t stable (the latter in part because it’s been waiting on solid specifications). Does that somehow make the points I’m making irrelevant?
> By your own standards, somewhat .

You really haven’t grasped what the issue I have here is, have you? it's nothing — NOTHING — to do with whether you’ve implemented things or not, and everything to do with recounting — at some not inconsiderable length — about how RDF isn't the only option, about how Linked Data and RDF aren't the same thing, about how you're trying to “solve a serious problem” to ensure WebID can reach “InterWeb scales”. Just _do it_. Provide the patches to the spec, figure out the stuff which needs to be solved to make it work.

I went back and looked for the mail you referred to. It's a useful example — it clearly shows a graph expressed as Microdata which can be reconciled with the RDF constituting other serialisations so that consumers can take a common approach — but if *you* are advocating Microdata then *you* need to do more. Not writing code, but writing a proposal (rather than a comment at the bottom of a mail in the middle of an e-mail thread about how clean/dirty HTML can be). Even Henry indicated in response to your question as to “what's the justification for not giving html+microdata and (x)html+rdfa equal billing” that there was no particular reason beyond resources.  This isn’t Henry-speak for “never speak of this again”, but IS how people on volunteer-time-driven projects indicate “nobody’s committed any time to it so far, want to be the first?”.

Your response to could have been to work up the spec changes and post them to the mailing list; instead it was to trash-talk RDFa, which doesn't actually get anybody any closer to having Microdata support in the WebID spec.

Henry; can you please raise an issue on Microdata support so that some progress can be made?

Mo McRoberts - Technical Lead - The Space,
0141 422 6036 (Internal: 01-26036) - PGP key CEBCF03E,
Project Office: Room 7083, BBC Television Centre, London W12 7RJ

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Received on Tuesday, 29 November 2011 08:23:00 UTC

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