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

Kingsley Idehen kidehen at openlinksw.com
Mon Aug 2 17:52:00 CEST 2010

Bruno Harbulot wrote:
> On 02/08/10 13:50, Seth Russell wrote:
>> 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?
> I think that's an interesting point. Having a human-readable webpage for 
> this sort of scenario is probably what motivated RDFa in the first place.
> However, I don't think we should mandate that WebIDs are for human 
> consumption. The principles of the WebID go further than that (any agent 
> could have a WebID, whether or not it has a HTML page to describe it is 
> secondary).

You can mandate that a structured profile should be human and machnine 
readable. In the process you end up with a much more palatable mechanism 
HTML+RDFa usage since this is what it actually addresses, problem wise. 
Ditto Microdata when you put HTML5 in the mix.
> I do agree that having an HTML representation should be encouraged, 
> though.
HTML representation can be Mandatory without using MUST for HTML+RDFa or 
any other mechanism. End result is that implementors have a choice re. 
implementing content negotiation or using HTML+RDFa etc..
>  To me, it's quite clear that social networking websites that 
> choose to implement WebID but don't serve an HTML representation will 
> fail to be considered useful by users, so there will be a bit of 
> self-selection there anyway.
Anything thing built with "Web" in its essence will fail without HTML 

Remember, Linked Data only actually exploded because DBpedia had an HTML 
representation (even before RDFa was inserted into the HTML descriptor 
docs). Contrary to general misconception, RDF/XML had little or nothing 
to do with the bootstrap.

GoodRelations is exploding for the very same reasons courtesy of HTML+RDFa.

WebID will succeed in the very same way via HTML+RDFa , Microdata, and 
any other HTML oriented mechanism for representing structured linked data.


> Best wishes,
> Bruno.
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Kingsley Idehen	      
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     
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