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[ontolog-forum] "Weird disconnects" around HTTP & RDF (was: predicates i

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Danny Ayers" <danny.ayers@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2008 11:20:40 +0100
Message-id: <1f2ed5cd0801040220j37cd217fg4040e8ee0f33da27@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On 04/01/2008, paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx <paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:    (01)

> . I believe the RDF MT is consistent
> > with this view of WebArch, at least if it isn't I've not noticed any
> > undesirable side effects. (Ok, there seem to be some weird
> > disconnects, but no obvious contradictions).
> 'some weird disconnects' sound rather serious reliability issue when
> we are building
> the network of networks . worth investigating?    (02)

One thing in particular I had in mind there was the difference between
a link in a HTML doc on the Web, and a predicate in an RDF doc on the
Web. The first will be directly connected to HTTP, allowing the end
user to follow the link in their browser. The latter may not be.    (03)

Ok, it would be reasonable to say that in both cases you've just got
declarative semantics, the "active" part of the system is all down to
the user interface tool. But  it seems to me that the success of the
Web has been intimately tied not just to the HTML and HTTP specs, but
to browser behaviour as well.    (04)

With RDF on the Web, while user agents might enable follow-your-nose
behaviour, it doesn't seem so intuitive how that should operate
compared with hypertext documents. Almost certainly a "one size fits
all approach", like that which has emerged for HTML+HTTP, will be
inadequate given the countless ways in which data can be interacted
with.    (05)

A big complication is the difference between following-your-nose to
(representations of) the linked resource itself, and to information
about the resource. The first is especially problematic when the
resource is, say. a real world object (the TAG httpRange-14 issue).
Despite this, there's a lot of useful work being done around the
Linking Open Data project, hooking together distinct data sets through
both HTTP and RDF (well, usually owl:sameAs).    (06)

Personally I suspect the way forward on this is to avoid the regular
kind of definition of user agent as used around browser etc. Rather
than the agent acting on behalf of the user, I'd suggest flipping it
over so it's the agent acting as if it were a user itself - i.e. an
autonomous entity. I don't think it's necessary for the agent to have
beliefs, desires and intentions or whatever, simply enough distance
from the human that we're not locked into thinking the ultimate
purpose is to have a static view of data projected onto our screen.    (07)

Danny.    (08)

--     (09)

http://dannyayers.com    (010)

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