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Re: The need for RDF in Linked Data

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2013 03:03:45 -0500
Cc: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-Id: <15C45233-A1AB-4F90-9107-E76CAEBB6B7C@ihmc.us>
To: Austin William Wright <aaa@bzfx.net>

On Jun 17, 2013, at 2:28 AM, Austin William Wright wrote:

> On Sun, Jun 16, 2013 at 10:26 PM, David Booth <david@dbooth.org> wrote:
> There seems to be some persistent misunderstanding about the role of RDF in Linked Data, as evidenced by comments like the following:
>   "RDF is just one implementation of Linked Data"
> I believe that comment is mine. Is it incorrect? You don't offer any evidence for this. You make a convincing point that adoption of RDF is paramount for adoption of Linked Data, but this doesn't mean that Linked Data _necessarily_ implies RDF. Do you see the distinction?

I see it, but consider it to be completely unimportant. To be concerned about such distinctions is tiresome in philosophy, but it is completely unproductinve in any practical field. 
> You can have Linked Data without RDF, because Linked Data is defined as a paradigm, not a particular implementation (which would be the Semantic Web), not a data model like RDF (the data model of the Semantic Web). 
> There are presently no known other implementations of Linked Data, but this doesn't mean it's impossible. If (to borrow an example), we stumbled upon another civilization on a planet far away, we might find they too have an implementation of Linked Data, even if not using RDF (though as a side effect of being Linked Data, the two implementations would be isomorphic, we would be able to refer to their resources using URIs and vice versa).

With the greatest respect, this is a bloody silly argument. Consider the World Wide Web. It *could* have been implemented using a completely different technology and set of standards, and on another planet there might well be a Krypton Wide Web that doesn't use HTTP or HTML. So should we say that HTTP and HTML are irrelevant to the Web? Of course not. 

> If you want to make the point that Linked Data necessarily implies RDF, I'd like to see the relevant passages from the definition (<http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/LinkedData.html>) cited.

Screw the definition. What matters is not a definition but what is actually practiced in the actual world. Actual fields of human endeavor cannot be given neat definitions. Nobody has ever given satisfactory definitions for (for example) computer science, artificial intelligence or web development. 

> If this turned out to be the case, I'd be somewhat confused, being left without a vocabulary term to describe RDF's underlying paradigm, and little if any differentiation between the terms Semantic Web and Linked Data.

Seems to me that being somewhat confused about the distinction between SWeb and LD is pretty normal. Maybe we should all agree to be slightly confused and be happy about that. 


> Austin.

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Received on Monday, 17 June 2013 08:04:16 UTC

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