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

Kingsley Idehen kidehen at openlinksw.com
Tue Aug 3 11:03:37 CEST 2010

Nathan wrote:
> 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?
Yes, but a real technical spec wouldn't and shouldn't negate HTTP's essence.

If you note, content negotiation is seen as a problem hence this 
protracted discussion about data serialization formats.

Content negotiation is the key to taking away the preoccupation with 
specific data serialization formats via MUST statements.

Today, Web Browsers default to HTML, and this won't change re. WebID 
protocol -- even without a MUST for HTML+RDFa.

> Best,
> Nathan



Kingsley Idehen	      
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     
Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
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