[foaf-protocols] WebID - mandated syntax or market solution? was WebID Incubator Charter draft

Jiří Procházka ojirio at gmail.com
Sat Dec 18 19:27:00 CET 2010

On 12/18/2010 06:54 PM, Kingsley Idehen wrote:
> On 12/17/10 6:53 PM, Jiří Procházka wrote:
>> Sorry, but this reply makes me feel like I am talking to a wall. This is
>> nothing new to me, what you say it basis for Linked Data which I am
>> familiar with in detail for a couple of years, and you have been
>> infusing most of your emails with it in one form or another. Lets just
>> agree we know what we are talking about and get to the point:
> Hmmm..
> Tell me how anything we do isn't about Linked Data, in reality.
> There is no WebID without Linked Data. Period!

Please don't put words in my mouth. I just said I understand Linked Data
and how it works. In fact I believe it is very good thing and have been
encouraging it's use for some time.

>> Do you agree the "WebID" name could be used, besides as the protocol
>> name, for something like a certificate (think
>> http://validator.w3.org/docs/help.html#icon) which guarantees to an end
>> user the software/service is usable in some way? (when it is not offline
>> of course)
> WebID is two things in one. An Identifier mechanism and an 
> Authentication protocol. It's a dual acronym.
>> Do you agree there are higher demands on reliability of protocols then
>> anything else?
> Maybe, but at this juncture I don't feel your context. Hopefully I will 
> as I read on.
>> Do you think if for example with DNS protocol while
>> answering your query each participating nameserver could return "syntax
>> not understood" error returning it to you as final answer would be good?
>> Please name some protocols which do this (syntax conneg - they are just
>> defined as logic - the model, like you wish).
> DNS is not a good example when we talk about a protocol that based on 
> structured data packets. These data packets carry EAV content +  
> de-referenacable identifiers in the E&A slots, and optionally in the V slot.
> This is something different. Its about self-describing data structures 
> and the ability to negotiate representation. The subject realm here is: 
> Distributed Data Objects. That isn't what DNS is about. The URI 
> abstraction leverages DNS for Name based Network Expanse with regards to 
> Identifier de-reference.
>> Do you realise your reqirement "They have to grok the model and
>> negotiate preferred structured data representations." puts much larger
>> strain on potential adopters over whole time they attempt to support
>> WebID the best, implementing new syntaxes over time as they gain
>> popularity, yet still failing to be 100% interoperable, instead of my
>> requirement of having to support at least one particular syntax, which
>> they can implement once and forget about it, being 100% interoperable
>> with valid WebIDs?
> We are talking past each other because we have completely different 
> views of Data Centricity. You believe in Syntax while I believe in 
> Models where representation can be negotiated.

No, I believe in negotiated representation, but I respect people who
want lightweight implementations which support only the bare minimum and
I am willing to support them as well. You on the other hand seem to
believe solely in negotiated representation, regardless if its
disadvantages, which of course exist as any purposeful thing in the

> BTW -- there was a time when we had to write network applications with a 
> thing called XDR [1], HTTP put that to rest via Content Negotiation and 
> clever abstraction. Unfortunately, HTTP is so "deceptively simple" that 
> folks think its a simple protocol devoid of sophistication. Quite the 
> contrary in reality.

I am familiar with XDR and its usage in RPC.

> WebID is an application of HTTP based LInked Data.
> HTTP based Linked Data is a product of Web ubiquity.
> Web ubiquity is a product of Internet ubiquity.
> Internet ubiquity is a product of TCP/IP ubiquity.
> ....
> Again, to insinuate that WebID and Linked Data are in anyway distinct 
> ultimately illustrates why we don't agree, at this point in time :-)

Like I said, you are misunderstanding me, thinking I mean things I
didn't say.
I am just willing to support more people with different points of view
who generally don't understand our Linked Data / Semantic Web
perspective, sacrificing idealistic purity for a practical solution.
To quote myself, I've summed it up:
> Well I suppose best would be to make a separate (but linked) spec for a
> thing called for example "WebID-I" as "WebID - Interoperable" specifying
> such minimal required syntax to be compliant with it, for the sole
> purpose of the badges. Hopefully enough people will be reasonable and
> seeing its purpose and its separateness from the core WebID spec and
> will save the holy war for some other event.


> Links:
> 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/External_Data_Representation - XDR
> Kingsley
>> Best,
>> Jiri

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