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

Nathan nathan at webr3.org
Tue Aug 3 01:01:26 CEST 2010

Henry Story wrote:
> On 3 Aug 2010, at 00:26, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
>>> RDF and semantics.   People will see how flexible it is as we use it.
>>> But frankly if that bothers you, then lets forget the spec.   
>> So this is an RDF spec? No RDF over emphasis or no spec?  I am saying: tone it down a little re. RDF, that's all.
> yes, sorry for cutting the discussion short. It is using the semantic web standards, of which RDF semantics is a core (and evolving piece_). This is what linked data is founded on, anything else that goes that way is just going to reinvent the wheel.
> We use that and we use SPARQL, and the web.
> That does not mean that one cannot use any representation one wants to - as long as it has a clear mapping to RDF, using GRDDL or something like that.
> But please let's not start a discussion on words here. If people can't deal with these distinctions it's to our advantage. Anything they produce will just reinvent what we are doing, just less well.

Yup, 'structured data' or 'machine readable data' are both safe terms - 
one mention of RDF or even FOAF and masses of people go running and 
immediately shut off, whether we like it or not. Have tried, tested and 
seen this happen often in recent times.

However, the spec isn't the sales pitch, and if it is then something's 
vastly wrong - quite sure that <0.001% of people will hit the WebID spec 
as their first introduction, the vast majority will already know the 
idea and be checking the spec to implement, and further a big majority 
of those will be doing it because it's their job to do so, they've been 
told to do it, the client/boss requires it, or most likely because 
everybody else is, the users are begging for support and thus they need 
to support WebID too :p

The spec needs to be technically correct, if the correct technical 
decision is to write 'a representation in a machine readable format.' 
then that's the one, if it's 'a RDF representation.' because the 
protocol depends on a serialization of RDF then use that, but picking 
nice names for things for political / marketing reasons in a technical 
spec surely won't do - it's akin to calling +TLS 'website with padlock' 
- in a primer document maybe, not in a core spec though.

back to it then, what does WebID require to operate on the 
representation side? to function it has to be 'MUST xxxxxxx' what's the 
xxxxxxx and is it tightly defined enough to ensure the protocol can 
function globally? - do we have any agreement?



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