[foaf-protocols] WebID Incubator Charter draft

Jiří Procházka ojirio at gmail.com
Thu Dec 16 19:52:48 CET 2010

On 12/16/2010 07:24 PM, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
> On 12/16/10 11:00 AM, Jiří Procházka wrote:
>> I am not sure I comprehend you. My idea was, that WebID should be a name
>> for technology of interoperable implementations.
> WebID Protocol. That's what I am talking about. No different from
> essence of your comment.
>> I don't think there
>> would be much value for having "WebID-RDF" and WebID-OData" or whatever,
>> each being a separate ecosystem if non-interoperable implementations of
>> the abstract WebID protocol.
>>   For the implementations to be
>> interoperable, there has to be some choices regarding minimal
>> requirements on syntax.
> A misconception. You can keep syntax out of the picture, really.
> There are many ways to encode an Entity-Attribute-Value graph. You would
> be amazed the degree to which most structured data encoding boils down
> to EAV graphs. Even better, this boils down to FOL (re. Logic based
> Conceptual Schema).
> RDF is a provincial distraction, and a very expensive one at that, when
> you factor in the vast community of people (pre. Web) that comprehend
> EAV graphs and FOL.
> Keep RDF syntax out, and these communities are all going to comprehend,
> appreciate, aid development of, and adopt WebID -- everyone feels the
> pain of the problem it solves.

I don't think we understand each other here. There is non-negligible
amount of possible implementors who would like to implement their
client, and forget about it, expecting it to work with any other WebID
client. This means they won't have some magical client code which learns
all the other WebID syntaxes, which would people invent pretty much like
RDF serializations (even if they downloaded some freely available
library from the web, I don't think there would be any which would
support all serializations - again, like with RDF). So there needs to be
some canonical syntax, which every client would support, exactly because
of these implementors (after all, syntax independence is quite new for
some people, especially network programmers who are used to strict
syntax defined by RFCs etc.).

When we agree, that there needs to be some canonical syntax, question
rises: which? It can be any RDF serialization, OData, or some other EAV
based syntax.
My arguments for some RDF serialization are that we don't have to market
the syntax as RDF serialization - being it brings the advantage, that if
implementor chooses some of the wide range of already available
libraries supporting it (another plus), he gains power to understand any
other metadata which might be stored with the WebID, for free, making
the endless range of RDF vocabularies and its expressive power available
to WebID publishers, hopefully creating the open social web, which many
of us strive for.


>> Of course separating the specs in WebID abstract protocol semantics and
>> WebID the interoperable system spec is fine and I encourage that, but
>> lets make sure the latter is understood by the label "WebID", not the
>> former.
> WebID Protocol is what this is about :-)
> Kingsley
>> Best,
>> Jiri

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