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Re: freebase parallax: user interface for browsing graphs of data

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 22:23:59 -0400
Message-ID: <48A4E8BF.9020105@openlinksw.com>
To: David Huynh <dfhuynh@alum.mit.edu>
CC: public-lod@w3.org, semantic-web@w3c.org

David Huynh wrote:
> Kingsley Idehen wrote:
>> David,
>> For purpose of clarity and broader discourse (I know we've been over 
>> this in private), what is the Linked Data and/or Semantic Web 
>> oriented value of this very cool visualization?
> Hi Kingsley,
> I apologize for the confusion. I actually didn't say "semantic web" or 
> "web of data" or "linked open data" in my first message.
I know, but linkage is inferred by virtue of the forum posts :-)  I 
think Sandro Hawke had a similar response re. congruence.
> I simply thought that the graph-based browsing paradigm of Parallax 
> might be useful on RDF, which is graph-like. Dbpedia, for example, is 
> a huge graph of billions of triples, and as far as I'm aware, it's 
> hard to explore Dbpedia.
I have not doubt about its virtues on the browsing side, none whatsoever.
> And there has been very similar UI research on browsing graphs, such 
> as Georgi's Humboldt, which I missed out as I wasn't able to attend 
> WWW 2008 :-( Well, at least I had a chance to discuss with him on the 
> Simile mailing list before.
> But if you would still like to understand the relevance to Linked Data 
> / SW, then may I point you to third parties who have tried to 
> ask/answer that question:
>    http://blogs.zdnet.com/collaboration/?p=131

W3C director Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s long term vision of the Web as a 
universal medium for data, information, and knowledge exchange would 
make it possible for the web to understand and satisfy the requests of 
people and machines.

Keyword: Exchange.
Key Mechanism: URIs or URLs.

All I ask of you is the exposure of the Freebase URLs that are already 
in sight re. the current / basic Freebase pages.  "javascript:{}" is 
neither URL nor URI.

The ‘people operated’ side of things is the world we live in today. As 
David Huynh’s video discusses, we busy ourselves manually searching by 
keyword in multiple locations and then compile our results.

Yes, we may be "less busy" as a result of nice UI (visualization or 
interaction) but the ultimate goal is stimulation of our inherent 
cognitive prowess. Thus,  also offer users of these UIs  an optional 
route to the raw data. On the Web that's simply about URIs or URLs. A 
stimulated human is an inquisitive human, and an inquisitive human will 
ultimately seek to explore dimensions associated with observation, 
perception, and comprehension.

>       (the talkback comments are also valuable)
Can't comment on zdnet as they still require completion of a full 
subscription interview first, no OpenID or the like in sight :-(

> http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/freebase_parallax_taunts_us_wi.php
No comment, I think that article speaks for itself. From my vantage 
point, readwriteweb is still grappling with the fundamentals of what 
comes after REST APIs.

> http://blog.futurefacts.net/2008/08/14/future-web-freebase-%E2%80%93-killing-google-with-semantic-precision/ 
That article is another variant of the readwrite article re. overall 

None of them answered the question re. Linked or Semantic Web relevance, 
because none of them seem to understand the essence of either. For 
instance, they don't see how "Networking" is the constant while points 
of reference (network entry points) vary over time; we started with 
Routers (eons ago) and now we are dealing with Entities across Data 
Spaces [1][2].
> Those are their opinions alone. I include them here to provide various 
> perspectives.

Here is my basic opinion:

I don't have an issue with the UI, it's nice, cool, and innovative. I 
just want it to be part of the Web. Being part of the Web is about 
accepting that "Linkage" is sacrosanct. Thus, no silos, no matter how 
pretty, cool, or innovative.

Your visualization is how I would lead a user to a beachead point in the 
underlying graph so that they could beam a SPARQL + Full Text pattern 
query down the graph without them ever writing or seeing a line of SPARQL.

Question: Is there any fundamental reason why you cannot expose URIs or 
URLs where you have "javascript:{}"? Would this break your work in 
anyway?  If you expose the URIs, I would then be able to demonstrate 
what I mean using your nice UI, how about that?


-- Start
-- Where we are headed

The presentation above is a remix of presentations by  TimBL and I from 
the recent Linked Data Planet conference. You've forced my hand re. 
publication as this remix is also about demonstrating RDFa virtues 
amongst other things re. the Linked Data Web  :-)

> Best,
> David



Kingsley Idehen	      Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Received on Friday, 15 August 2008 02:24:49 UTC

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