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

Kingsley Idehen kidehen at openlinksw.com
Fri Aug 6 15:09:06 CEST 2010

Seth Russell wrote:
> There is another reason why we should be a more heavey handed with 
> specifying formats ... and that is *reliability*.  If we leave the 
> formats so open and up to developers to coose, then we are going to 
> get everything all over the board ... pretty much what is happening 
> right now.   So the chances any one person has of seeing it work will 
> be decreased.  When it doesn't work for people, they will just go do 
> something else.

There is a bit of pragmatic reality that we continue to overlook.

Given a choice of any format and RDF/XML most Web Developers with choose 
the other format. Thus, narrowing the formats down to HTML+RDFa and 
RDF/XML basically means developers will use HTML+RDFa.  Even better, the 
ones that do RDF/XML already grok content negotiation as route to adding 
HTML based descriptor docs to the mix.

Linked Data as exemplified by DBpedia demonstrates all of the nuances I 
mention :-)

What we cannot do is mandate a single format. They will be very 
susceptible to FUD.

> Seth Russell
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> On Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 5:54 AM, Bruno Harbulot 
> <Bruno.Harbulot at manchester.ac.uk 
> <mailto:Bruno.Harbulot at manchester.ac.uk>> wrote:
>     On 06/08/10 03:41, Manu Sporny wrote:
>     > On 08/02/2010 12:23 PM, Nathan wrote:
>     >> yes, we could easily accomplish everything needed with *only* RDFa.
>     >>
>     >> I for one would be happy to go balls out and specify 'MUST use
>     RDFa'
>     >> only, would anybody here who has a WebID or a foaf profile have
>     any good
>     >> reason not to do this?
>     >
>     > +1
>     -1, as we should leave the option to using content-negotiation for
>     returning RDF (*instead* of HTML) rather than RDF within HTML.
>     As I was saying in:
>     <http://lists.foaf-project.org/pipermail/foaf-protocols/2010-August/003075.html>
>     > 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.
>     RDFa can be a bit hard to implement, depending on the template
>     mechanisms on the server side. It shouldn't be up to the spec to
>     mandate
>     that RDF is within the HTML or alongside it (with a different
>     content-type).
>     In addition, while I support the fact there SHOULD be an HTML
>     representation, this is actually not necessary for the protocol to
>     function, whereas narrowing down the RDF formats is.
>     Best wishes,
>     Bruno.
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Kingsley Idehen	      
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     
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