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Re: Chartering work has started for a Linked Data Signature Working Group @W3C

From: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 5 Jun 2021 11:51:27 +0200
Cc: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, semantic-web@w3.org
Message-Id: <39DF36BC-26FD-42B3-89A9-753FF9238B50@w3.org>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>


> On 4 Jun 2021, at 17:57, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org> wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> On Fri, 4 Jun 2021 at 16:32, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org <mailto:ivan@w3.org>> wrote:
> 
> 
>> On 4 Jun 2021, at 16:16, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org <mailto:danbri@danbri.org>> wrote:
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> That does sound really really bad. Perhaps the WG charter should cover only use of self-contained Linked Data / RDF format, eg Turtle/TRiG? And then try to secure hypertext / multi-stakeholder RDF syntaxes (json-ld, grddl, ...) as a stretch goal rather than core business? 
> 
> Dan,
> 
> I do not understand what you mean. What do you mean by "multi stakeholder RDF Syntax" that seems to characterize JSON-LD as opposed to Turtle or RDF/XML? This is the first time I meet this type of expression with regards to RDF syntaxes. In view, JSON-LD is not fundamentally different from Turtle or RDF/XML. 
> 
> Ralph Swick was very clear about this in the 1997 RDF Model and Syntax WG. That an RDF document (given a base URI) should unambiguously determine the triples/graph, without the content of the resulting graph depending on pulling in code from other parties over potentially unreliable connections. RDF/XML, Turtle, N3, RDFa etc meet that criteria...
> 
> “Multi-stakeholder” is new terminology

It is not very helpful coming up with a new terminology in the middle of a charter discussion. Let us avoid this.

> intended to capture the idea that the RDF your document maps to is a result of your collaboration with the parties controlling any remote contexts it references. And that this is recursive and dynamic; parsers without the right context data won’t know what to emit. 
> 
> 
> I suspect you are referring to the problems that arise with the context file, although I am not sure why that is a "multi stakeholder syntax"
> 
> 
<snip>

> - but we have already made a change on the charter by making it explicit that the WG will deal with the specific context issue separately, see
> 
> https://w3c.github.io/lds-wg-charter/#ig-other-deliverables <https://w3c.github.io/lds-wg-charter/#ig-other-deliverables>
> 
> That is interesting, and progress, but these discussions seem still to presuppose JSON-LD is the best and focal foundation for signed Linked Data; Manu’s warning suggests instead it may be amongst the least appropriate.
> 

Sigh. The discussion, so far, was helpful in clarifying potential problems and make some hidden assumptions more visible. But we are coming full circles here, and I am beginning to think that we will never get to an agreement or common understanding. 

Please show me where in the charter it says that "JSON-LD is the best and focal foundation for signed Linked Data". (Either in the latest version of the charter, or in any earlier incarnation thereof, or in the not-yet-approved-and-merged PR [1,2].) In fact, please show me where in the charter we privilege any concrete RDF syntax in the algorithms (apart maybe from N-triples/N-quads in the final steps of the hashing algorithm). All the algorithms and vocabularies are meant to be on the abstract RDF model. Putting JSON-LD "out of scope" is, in fact, meaningless in this context.

I expect your answer will be to find some reference or text somewhere in, say, the LDP document hinting at this. And I would consider this irrelevant for the current discussion. Those documents are not a direct input to the deliverables, a.k.a. they are not FPWD-to-be.  These are references are "primary input to the work" simply because, at this point, there has been a significant amount of work put into them that we should not ignore, there has not been any similar significant work to cover that area beyond the ones mentioned, (If you, or anybody else, have such an input, I am happy to propose adding it to the charter.) The WG is not bound by these documents by any means, i.e., for example, is not bound by anything that is related to JSON-LD. 

Maybe your answer will be to quote from a mail or other conversation of one of the participants of the discussion. And I would consider this irrelevant for the current discussion, too. Member companies can delegate their experts to the WG, and I do not expect all the experts in that WG to have the same opinion on everything. Actually, I hope that is not the case, and the WG will be the place for healthy technical discussions. Even in the case of past Working Groups that relied much more heavily on some input documents than this charter one plans to, there were significant disagreements that led to some major changes on those documents when they became part of rec-track work. And that is the way it should be; a W3C WG is not a rubber stamping body.

We are creating a charter. Although not in a legal sense, but it is a bit like creating a contract. You know pretty well the way the W3C process works, and you know very well that the only thing that counts is what the charter says. Everything else is a subject of discussion in the WG. If you want to make it sure that JSON-LD does not unduly affects the final deliverables, or that the context related problems are properly discussed, then, by all means, join the WG. That is the place where things should be discussed.

Cheers

Ivan 


[1] https://pr-preview.s3.amazonaws.com/w3c/lds-wg-charter/pull/89.html
[2] https://github.com/w3c/lds-wg-charter/pull/89




----
Ivan Herman, W3C 
Home: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
mobile: +33 6 52 46 00 43
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0782-2704


Received on Saturday, 5 June 2021 09:52:29 UTC

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