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

Henry Story henry.story at gmail.com
Mon Aug 2 20:23:29 CEST 2010

On 2 Aug 2010, at 20:10, Seth Russell wrote:

> On Mon, Aug 2, 2010 at 9:59 AM, Henry Story <henry.story at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 2 Aug 2010, at 18:45, Nathan wrote:
>>> I really like that sentence - perfect even imho.
>>> 'MUST have a Machine and Human readable representation of a structured
>>> profile document'
>> "MUST have a representation of an RDF graph in a machine readable
>> representation. See the section on representations for more about this."
>> You cannot force a Human readable representation in the spec. That is again
>> a pragmatic issue.
> Why not?  

Because we are in the process of describing the WebID protocol, not how to 
make people like your site. In engineering, and in many other fields of human
endeavor, small is beautiful. Do one thing, and do it well.

> If you leave this open, then  it is less likely to happen in the
> way most of us  want it to happen.

Here you are attributing to specifications some magic power they don't have.
Even if we wrote it down, why would people follow it? 

>   If it doesn't happen, then WebIDs will
> be less valuable and less useful.    Pepole and webmasters will have far
> less motive to go the extra mile to get them, or agents accept or provide
> them.    

If those people need a spec to motivate them, then we should give up! I have never heard of specs motivating anyone. They are useful for guidance.

Notice all our implementations function without a spec!

> Then you are certainly would be right, "it will be difficult for
> people  to understand what is going on and  takeup will be slow".    Your
> also right that this  a pragmatic issue.    Where is it written in stone
> that  practical issues cannot be decided by specification?


> Seth
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