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Re: .htaccess a major bottleneck to Semantic Web adoption / Was: Re: RDFa vs RDF/XML and content negotiation

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2009 20:45:17 -0400
Message-ID: <4A441A1D.4090307@openlinksw.com>
To: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@webbackplane.com>
CC: Jeremy Carroll <jeremy@topquadrant.com>, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, Tom Heath <tom.heath@talis.com>, martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org, Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>, bill.roberts@planet.nl, public-lod@w3.org, semantic-web at W3C <semantic-web@w3c.org>
Mark Birbeck wrote:
> Hi Kingsley,
>> If you are comfortable producing (X)HTML documents, then simply use RDFa and
>> terms from relevant vocabularies to describe yourself, your needs, your
>> offerings, and other things, clearly. Once you've done that, simply leave
>> the Web to do the REST :-)
>> Everything else is a technical detail (imho).
> But that isn't the discussion we're having, IMHO.
> We're not talking about how you or I might do it -- people comfortable
> with .htaccess files, server configuration, and so on.

I don't see how my comments implies anything to do with people capable 
of, or with privileged access to, .htaccess.

I am echoing the sentiment that concluded our conversation last week at 
dinner: let people capable of writing HTML (dropped the X) also be
capable of describing things using the RDF data model courtesy of RDFa.

When you get the structured data into the Web it will actually do the 
REST i.e. it's architecture kicks in and does all of the other wonderful 
things such as:
enabling you to find the nearest *open* BestBuy store that carries an 
esoteric MP3 model within 2 km of your current location etc..
> My understanding of the discussion that was going on, is that whilst
> we all want to see the semantic web succeed (even if we all have a
> different view of what the semantic web is), we're asking how exactly
> it is that we can achieve it.
And my point is we should have a simple value proposition that is 
aligned with a set of scenarios, and manifestation solutions.

To reiterate: we want people to be able add granularity to the documents 
they publish to the Web. A lot of this granularity takes the form of
metadata which can be expressed using the RDF data model by embedding 
RDFa into HTML.

> And for years, the solutions proposed have been somewhat mysterious;
> RDF/XML, SPARQL end-points, N3, content negotiation, 303s, and so on.
No, over the years the messaging has been mangled in a myriad of ways. 
Again, my goal is to focus on a simple message and from that distill
implementation scenarios. Again, there's no silver bullet for the Linked 
Data deployment matter per se. Just scenarios to which deployment 
recipes may be aligned.
> You have to ask yourself at some point, do we want the data, or don't
> we -- do we want people to publish stuff that we 'semwebbers' can use?
> And if we do want it, then let's help them publish it.

We just need to politely tell the world: the granularity of markup has 
evolved from presentation oriented semantics (HTML) through document 
structure semantics (XML) to
metadata semantics (RDF).
> I may be biased because I've had my nose pressed up against it for too
> many years, but I believe that in this regards, RDFa is a
> game-changer.
> It's not GRDDL, which says 'publish whatever the hell you like and
> we'll convert it'. It's not microformats, which says, 'here are a
> handful of centralised vocabularies, for use on a decentralised web'.
> And it's not RDF/XML, which requires you to take apart your server and
> put it back together again.
> It's HTML.
Dare I agree ?

> And everyone knows at least one way to publish HTML, don't they?
> In the years that I've been involved with the RDFa work, the mental
> model I have always had, is of someone using Blogger or Drupal or
> something just as simple, to publish RDF. That's now possible with
> RDFa, and what's even more exciting, Yahoo! and Google will pick it
> up.

I've had a simple mental model: the desire to express myself clearly, 
via markup :-) 
> I realise I'm sounding like an evangelist (no doubt because I am one). :)
> But my suggestion would be that we have a window of opportunity here,
> to create a semantic infrastructure that is indistinguishable from the
> web itself; the more metadata we can get into HTML-space, the more
> likely we are to bring about a more 'semantic' web...before anyone
> notices. ;)
Again, dare I agree :-)

> Regards,
> Mark



Kingsley Idehen	      Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Received on Friday, 26 June 2009 00:46:03 UTC

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