Re: Blank Nodes Re: Toward easier RDF: a proposal

> On 27 Nov 2018, at 04:55, Thomas Passin <> wrote:
> On 11/26/2018 9:49 PM, David Booth wrote:
>> It is hard for very smart people to see why concepts that are simple to them are *not* so simple for others who have significantly less intellectual horsepower.  Typically it is not any one concept that makes   a subject too hard, but the totality of the interaction between multiple concepts, each with its own exceptions and caveats, that pushes the user over his/her mental threshold of "too hard".
> It's not necessarily the case of not enough horsepower.  Being able to read and digest the content of formal specifications, and being able to put that to use, isn't easy.  It's very abstract, even more abstract than a lot of everyday programming.  A lot of folks just don't do that well.  It's been remarked before in this thread (I think by you?) that there isn't a lot of good tutorial material out there on how to understand and use RDF-related tools and data design.
> If you mean to make it easier for the middle ranks of programmers to work with linked data, then those people are going to have to understand quite a lot about semantics - since it's probably rare for two data sets to have exactly the same semantics for things that are apparently the same - and about data cleaning, truth maintenance, and imputation of missing data.  Absent those things, for someone to blithely forge ahead linking data right and left is only going to cause trouble.
I think this may point out the problem.

I think of myself as someone to:
"to blithely forge ahead linking data right and left”
And I think it is obvious that I have a limited understanding of the semantics.
I think of it as the triumph of RDF and the enormous work that people have put in that I am able to do this.

Saying that we need to get people to understand the semantics better and make it easier for them is not the way to go - it is what people have been doing, and it isn’t working (for the purposes of David's thread).
We need to make it easier for people to “do” Semantic Web without understanding the semantics in anything other than an intuitive way.

Back in the days I have much enjoyed getting into Van Wijngaarden grammars and Denotational Semantics, but I didn’t actually use that knowledge much when programming in Algol68 or functional languages - and I’m sure most programmers avoided them like the plague.


> So arguably it will be important to make *those* things easier for middle rank workers to understand and deal with.  RDF details, not so much.  We could probably put together a profile that disallows certain RDF usages and encourages certain idioms, and be done with that part of it.  Then the hard work would start.
> TomP

Received on Tuesday, 27 November 2018 07:38:32 UTC