W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > October 2015

RDF APIs should describe their responses

From: Ruben Verborgh <ruben.verborgh@ugent.be>
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2015 14:12:06 +0200
Message-Id: <59D936F1-6E54-4966-8677-BAA1D5F47B6F@ugent.be>
To: semantic-web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Dear all,

Would you be able to use a website that looked like this?
http://i.imgur.com/jkf9yQI.jpg
This image shows a website with only data on there,
not the context to interpret it nor the controls to act upon it.

You likely agree that such an interface would be hard to use.
Yet this is more or less how we build our APIs with RDF nowadays:
we focus on making the data self-descriptive,
while the response does not describe itself at all.
As a result, current RDF clients cannot be more than data processors,
because data is all that they are given access to.

I think servers should also describe API responses to clients,
similar to how websites for people contain text and links
that describe much more than just the raw data itself.
And RDF graphs offer a handy way to combine data
with context and controls in a single response.
This would enable clients to do more with an API.

I've sketched such a solution in more detail here:
http://ruben.verborgh.org/blog/2015/10/06/turtles-all-the-way-down/
Your feedback and thoughts are most welcome.

Happy to discuss!

Ruben
Received on Tuesday, 6 October 2015 12:12:36 UTC

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