[foaf-protocols] First WebID Teleconference minutes (July 27th 2010)

Kingsley Idehen kidehen at openlinksw.com
Mon Aug 2 17:41:46 CEST 2010

Seth Russell wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 2, 2010 at 4:36 AM, Bruno Harbulot 
> <Bruno.Harbulot at manchester.ac.uk 
> <mailto:Bruno.Harbulot at manchester.ac.uk>> wrote:
>     > but any format which can be transformed into RDF triples can be
>     > integrated with WebID. The formats which will work out of the
>     box are
>     > RDFa, RDF/XML or other RDF serializations.
>     > Manu: We can phrase it as follows: right now we support RDFa and
>     RDF/XML
>     This is kind of what I had suggested a couple of weeks ago:
>     > A Verification Agent MUST be able to process documents in RDF/XML
>     > A server responding to a WebID Profile request MUST be able to
>     return a
>     > representation in RDF/XML (using media type application/rdf+xml) or
>     > XHTML+RDFa (using either media type text/html or media type
>     > application/xhtml+xml). In addition, either parties may support any
>     > other RDF format via HTTP content-type negotiation.
>     The new version makes things worse, I think:
>     > A Verification Agent must be able to process documents in RDF/XML
>     responding
>     > to a WebID Profile request should support HTTP content negotiation.
>     > The server must return a representation in RDF/XML for media type
>     > application/rdf+xml. The server must return a representation in
>     > XHTML+RDFa for media type text/html or media type
>     > application/xhtml+xml. Verification Agents and Identification Agents
>     > may support any other RDF format via HTTP content negotiation.
>     Mandating or recommending content-type negotiation could make things
>     more difficult for the publisher side.
>     Mandating the HTML returned to have some RDFa is also a bad thing, I
>     think. The verification agent could very well request
>     application/rdf+xml first and then text/html in order or preference.
>     Then, a server supporting content-type negotiation could return
>     RDF/XML
>     for that and some plain HTML to a browser.
> I don't know if this has been already dealt with or not, but i think 
> it is important if you intend WebIDs to be used by people.  First 
> point of information:   arn't you're giving out WebID's, hopefully 
> short ones, which people pass around in various contexts to various 
> agents to identify themselves?  Well if that is the case, then me 
> thinks that is should be **mandated** that if a person hits one of 
> those WebID's with their browser, not knowing anything about content 
> negoition, that the WewID URL will respond with a profile in a human 
> friendly way.   But gentelmen, i don't think that is what is happening 
> now.   Some respond back in XML ... others in JSON ... very few of 
> your WebId respond back with a page which an actually person would 
> want to read.   So is it possible that you guys will consider actually 
> putting that mandate in the specification?  

Ideally, this is why I've suggested wording such as: structured profile 
that is human and machine readable. Basically, this is what you get with 
HTML+RDFa . Again its about using wording that isn't susceptible to FUD. 
HTML+RDFa is one way of solving the problem without forcing 
sophisticated content negotiation and QoS algorithms on adopters.

> Seth Russell
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Kingsley Idehen	      
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     
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