×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Berners-Lee Pushes Linked Data In MIT Course

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the click-here-for-knowledge dept.

The Internet 102

ErMKutz writes "WWW inventor Tim Berners-Lee is championing linked data — the idea of assigning web addresses to individual pieces of data to enable more intelligent information searches — much like he did now-ubiquitous Internet standards such as HTML and HTTP. But the ethic hasn't quite taken off yet, so he and a group of Boston tech and entrepreneurial all-stars are launching an MIT class to teach students linked data mechanics and fast-track the technology to market. They're combining engineering and entrepreneurial education in the hopes of launching viable linked data businesses or open source code at the conclusion of the course." I hope this shows up on OpenCourseWare.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

102 comments

Ummm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32595452)

someone please comment. i dont want a first post

Ummm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32595628)

please drop your pants and bend over. i want to pee in your ass

Dear Mr. Berners-Lee, (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32595464)

Please bring back the BLINK tag.

Re:Dear Mr. Berners-Lee, (1)

PDX (412820) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596232)

What about copying the Dewey decimal index like this 001.01.000.000 would access encyclopedias. You could copy the existing system used by librarians all over the continent.

Re:Dear Mr. Berners-Lee, (2, Insightful)

pyite (140350) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596266)

You could copy the existing system used by librarians all over the continent.

Except that not all libraries use it. A lot (like the university I graduated from) use the Library of Congress Classification [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Dear Mr. Berners-Lee, (2, Informative)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596680)

You mean a lot of libraries in the states use it. Rest of the world is quite happy with the Dewey decimal system.

Re:Dear Mr. Berners-Lee, (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597116)

Holy cow, even when you guys invent both the standards you still can't use the one that everyone else uses?

Re:Dear Mr. Berners-Lee, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32601580)

Your right we are using a different standard other than HTTP and TCP/IP to access the internet. Ohh wait.....

Re:Dear Mr. Berners-Lee, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597310)

...which is also American.

Re:Dear Mr. Berners-Lee, (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 3 years ago | (#32600134)

Yup. Even here in Europe, the Dewey classification is regarded - by librarians managing large libraries - as outmoded. But still, you've got a point. Both the LOC and Europe's largest libraries support querying them through OPAC interfaces. Replacing Dewey indexes in your idea with OPAC urls would be pretty cool.

Re:Dear Mr. Berners-Lee, (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596730)

Dear AC, you already have an equivalent via scripting...
window.setInterval(function(){
var t = document.getElementById("mytag");
if (t && t.style)
t.style.visibility = (t.style.visibility === "visible") ? "hidden" : "visible";
}, 1500);

-- Brendan Eich

Re:Dear Mr. Berners-Lee, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32599944)

Yes, nothing like makeing a simple job more complicated using scripts. I mean if it makes people feel special then thats all that matters.

Personally I respect simplicity and security so seeing code that does something simple that can be done in CSS is plain stupid. Soon we can breath a sign of relief and get rid of Flash completely when developers start using HTML5.

What about if people value security over blinking text? Then they would have disabled scripts alltogether, including Flash

Re:Dear Mr. Berners-Lee, (1)

jewelises (739285) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598974)

Please bring back the BLINK tag.

Perhaps this time around it'll be an abbreviation for a "Berners link". (That ought to cause anyone's eyes to close and then open again.)

Re:Dear Mr. Berners-Lee, (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32600090)

<span id="blink">I’m blinking! Yeah!</span>
<script type="text/javascript">
document.blink = function (state) {
    var b = document.getElementById("blink")
    b.style.visibility = state
    state = (state == "hidden") ? "visible" : "hidden"
    window.setTimeout("document.blink('"+state+"')",500)
}
window.setTimeout("document.blink('hidden')",500)
</script>

Or as a single data URL link:

data:text/html,%3Cspan%20id=%22blink%22%3EI&rsquo;m%20blinking!%20Yeah!%3C/span%3E%3Cscript%20type=%22text/javascript%22%3E%20document.blink%20=%20function%20(state)%20{%20var%20b%20=%20document.getElementById(%22blink%22);%20b.style.visibility%20=%20state;%20state%20=%20(state%20==%20%22hidden%22)%20?%20%22visible%22%20:%20%22hidden%22;%20window.setTimeout(%22document.blink('%22+state+%22')%22,500);%20};%20window.setTimeout(%22document.blink('hidden')%22,500)%20//%20%3C/script%3E

(Slashdot filters it out when I want to make it clickable. So you have to copy and paste it.)

There ya go...
Use it responsibly! ;)

P.S.: I was too lazy to implement a search function using the still not always available getElementByClassName.

In Other Word: (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32595510)

hashes.

Yours In Akademgorodok,
Kilgore Trout

Linked Data #1 (2, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#32595536)

So how do they connect

Re:Linked Data #1 (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32595556)

What happens when the URL is no longer valid?

Re:Linked Data #1 (3, Funny)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#32595648)

"Mad Libs", but with data!

1. Create way to link data
2. Link as much data together as possible
3. ???
4. Profit!

All joking aside...

I think this is a [HTTP404] idea, with tons of [HTTP404]! And makes me think of [POETIC IMAGE NUMBER 37 NOT FOUND]...

Re:Linked Data #1 (2, Interesting)

chromas (1085949) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596070)

Score: 5, [404 Not Found. The score modifier you have requested could not be located by the server. Additionally, a 404 error was encountered while attempting to process the error template.]

Re:Linked Data #1 (1)

nunojsilva (1019800) | more than 3 years ago | (#32595734)

That won't happen, there's HTTP 3xx. Of course if you move or discontinue something, you'll use those.

(Now seriously, if something disappears and you can't fix it, then there's nothing else you can do (other than removing the link). On one hand this is sad, but on the other hand it's this interdependence that makes web great.

Re:Linked Data #1 (1)

linumax (910946) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596006)

Partly depends on how "well connected" the data is.

For instance, in case of Friend of A Friend [wikipedia.org] if I am your one and only friend and basically gateway to the outside then me going offline means you are not live anymore either. This of course is a rare case. Also, as with many other problems related to Semantic Web and Linked Data, this is more of an engineering challenge rather than a fundamental flaw. There are different (proposed) strategies (some borrowed from current web) that deal with all the potential issues but at least IMHO lack of immediately obvious financial gains is slowing both research and funding in the area, so the potential solutions just stay mostly theoretical.

Re:Linked Data #1 (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597056)

The problem is that we more or less already have that. It's a type of URI plus some sort of permalink. While the engineering aspect is presumably what the hubbub is about, the reality is that this isn't really any different than creating a link to a short snippet of XML for some bit of info. Similar to I don't know an HTML webpage for a single paragraph or less.

Linked data #2 (2, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#32595554)

Chunks of data that are

Re:Linked data #2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597256)

[grammar nazi] The first 'c' should be lower-case [/grammar nazi]

Linked data #3 (2, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#32595572)

apparently related?

I just don't see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32595654)

I just don't see where this seems like an overly useful thing. "linked data" - Linked in what way? What data? How is this different from what people already do with the web?
I must be missing something because this sounds like "hey, dump anything in a database to the web and give it an individual web link"..which doesn't sound all that useful.

Re:I just don't see... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#32595852)

The useful part is that anything that's natively on the Web is something which can be pulled into other completely unrelated applications, without having to wire them directly into whatever database you're running.

In other words, it seems a bit like REST or AJAX in that it's a new name for a useful idea which has been around for awhile, even in use for awhile, but needed a name and a slogan to become a concrete concept.

Re:I just don't see... (1)

brainburp (1547139) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596188)

"Linked Data is a sub-topic of the Semantic Web". Its latest technical effort, imho, is RDFa. So, its not like what you portrayed, more like a machine readable way to access web addressable data for re-purposing. See http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_berners_lee_on_the_next_web.html [ted.com]

Re:I just don't see... (3, Insightful)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596572)

The problem with most of the semantic web concepts is that it wants to add lots of metadata to everything, generally of a type that cannot be added automatically. I see how many people's music collections are extremely inconsistent with the metadata. Sometimes half the music is missing artist tags, and whatnot. Furter how many people actually have well tagged photo collections?

If people are not willing to tag their music and photos consistently, when it have active immediate benefits to them, what chance is there of getting them to tag information in their web pages, when that provides no immediate benefit, and quite possibly no benefit ever if the Semantic web does not catch on.

The idea of linked data on the other hand has a shot of working, but probably not in the way Tim Berners-Lee imagines it. RDF seems to have too much of a stigma attached to it.

Re:I just don't see... (3, Interesting)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597978)

This latest effort strikes me as a less ambitious version of the semantic web, and we may have seen a glimpse of it in Wolfram Alpha. Wolfram's ego aside Alpha does have merit and if the state of the art can advance as far as finding context in the written word then it's a damned good start; recognising faces and locales appears comparitively simple.

Call me a cynic if you want, but I strongly doubt that people in general will manually tag and classify their photos, movies, songs etc. This doubt seems ever more justified as the rate at which we accumulate personal data increases.

Re:I just don't see... (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603596)

Alpha is indeed a good idea, but I still lament the implementation.

Many times I've wanted data that can be trivially calculated from data it has (I can pull up each peice individually, so I know they are there, but there are a few to many to exract one by one and then calculate on them), but I cannot find any working syntax.

If I could have a programmatic interface to individual data points. My original thought was something like:

for x in ["USA, UK, JAPAN"]:
    for y in range(1979,2009):
        AlphaData("WolframAlpha.Countries.%s.government_debt.historical.%s",x,y)

However, exposing each piece of data with a unique URL that can be programmatically constructed would be just as useful. I would feel no need to have the returned data link to their locations, but I could imagine that for an example like this having some links like for the next year, previous year, next country, previous country, and perhaps several other links could be useful, and would probably be easy enough for them to expose.

As for tagging:

I agree with your doubt. Unfortunately machines are nowhere near good enough yet to do all the necessary tagging. Songs and movies can probably be handled by calculating good fingerprints, and looking up metadata in a large curated database, but photos tagging is much less easy. People usually want them tagged by both location, and people in the photos. The people in the photos is actually the easier problem, unless the photo source has GPS and geotags the image on creation. But even an algorithm to automatically identifies the individuals in each picture tagging them (prompting the user for a name if it lacks one for the individual) is difficult technology, and out current attempts are not particularly promising.

Named anchors (1)

nunojsilva (1019800) | more than 3 years ago | (#32595666)

Are HTML named anchors an example of data-naming? At least some browsers will render a resource around an anchor, if its name is given in the URL.

Applied to the web (and with a way to join two pieces of data) this can lead to a HTML-supported bottom-up approach, with no need for "a special way to #include files". People could then create welcome.html-piece, toc.html-piece, blogpost.html-piece and say index.html is *.html-piece.

something like deep linking? (1, Informative)

prediff (1834106) | more than 3 years ago | (#32595738)

This sounds pretty much like deep linking. which per wikipedia is

Deep linking, on the World Wide Web, is making a hyperlink that points to a specific page or image on a website, instead of that website's main or home page. Such links are called deep links.

I remember hearing about a couple of lawsuits which were raised because of deep linking and i dont see how this is any different.
I can faintly hear the lawyer sharpening their tools right now......

Re:something like deep linking? (2, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#32595938)

It sounds like it's more related to this [ted.com] TED talk, rather than skipping over a "content provider's" "branding" to "steal" their "content". The model would likely require a more active sense of purpose towards participation and making the data available, rather than having stuff online and some random person linking to it without "permission"

Re:something like deep linking? (1)

prediff (1834106) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597428)

Aahh.. now that's much better. I couldn't find this inside the article which was all about "Linked data is the idea of assigning Web addresses to individual chunks of information, rather than just to documents, so that these chunks can interlink and lend meaning to one another." which reads more like deep linking than open data.

What is covered in the TED is far more agreeable on, though it is more about generating collaborative data (like openstreetmaps) rather than *linking* data per say.
What Tim seems to be asking was for people to open up data sets which they have already so that someone may/can generate some contextual information.
And this is data generated by the government i.e. organizations which by their requirement collect data *sets* not few lines of data.

Here what the article is going on about, is *linking* data/content which is already present, in some form or format which are not necessarily data sets, just random chunks of information.

Re:something like deep linking? (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598054)

I know you aren't justifying that attitude or anything, but for the benefit of those who don't understand what's actually going on...

You contact a webserver and ask it for data, often that data is a file which it sends to you. That file often is (roughly) HTML and includes other links to other files, often on the same webserver.

Skipping or stripping out an element of a webpage is really just not downloading some of the extra files.

"Rewriting" someone's webpage to strip the ads is equivalent to opening the bill from your phone company and not spreading the fliers they include out around the bill on the table while you read the bill.

Also, the idea of permission itself leads to a broken understanding of how the web works.

Linking to something is simply mentioning it, this is a link to today's copy of the NY Post - page 7, all a webbrowser does is highlight that link and make it clickable. To suggest the idea of needing permission to link to something is to suggest that you could need permission to mention its existence.

The only concrete thing that can be said about permissions is that tautologically you have been given permission to possess whatever information they send to you.

If I link to information on the web and someone follows that link (requesting the page) all required permission has been given - the webserver authorized the requester to have the requested resource.

Hopefully this explains why "half" the words in the parent post were in quotes and the utter ridiculousness of the idea of forbidding deep linking.

I don't get it (2, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#32595758)

What the hell?! Is this something I'd have to read TFA to understand?!!

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32598064)

http://linkeddata.org/ here is the site (i think)

What's the incentive to use it? (1)

PrecambrianRabbit (1834412) | more than 3 years ago | (#32595868)

One problem -- from a business perspective -- of linking data in a machine-understandable way is that it makes it much easier for third parties to use that data. At first that may seem like a good thing, but for many companies the data are the entire business. If a third party can quickly aggregate related data from many sites in a way that is more useful than the individual sites, those sources suffer. We're seeing this tension already with Google vs. publishers, where the data in question are news stories, and Google News is the aggregator. While linked data could be enormously beneficial for the user/consumer, the producers have little incentive to expose their intellectual property in a way that is easily used by other automated services.

Re:What's the incentive to use it? (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596230)

Lets take hardware component manufacturers ... the good ones which don't hide all their real datasheets and models behind annoying representatives. Lets take Linear Technologies, if LTSpice could simply pull up to data models from their website that would be more convenient than having to install them separately. A lot of databases would benefit from using DNS+Web instead of proprietary solutions.

Re:What's the incentive to use it? (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596982)

One problem -- from a business perspective -- of linking data in a machine-understandable way is that it makes it much easier for third parties to use that data. At first that may seem like a good thing, but for many companies the data are the entire business.

It's true that data linking is detrimental to some business models. That is a weakness in the business models, not in data linking. They're victim to the classic fallacy that data is worth more as a secret than when it's shared.

The simple fact is that if they don't link such data usefully the next person will, or a more amenable source will be found. The only thing that can slow this process is:

a) Not to share the data with anyone, or to do so with such restrictions as to lessen its value in the first place; or

b) To convince every single party that uses this data that it should never be linked, either individually (possible, but not likely to endure) or in aggregate with other data (highly unlikely).

Conversely, processing the data such that it can be finely sliced and diced and freely shared is extremely valuable to the system overall. Unfortunately, Mr. Smith in all his wisdom didn't consider gift economies and economies of wealth when he wrote the Wealth of Nations.

Re:What's the incentive to use it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597110)

> It's true that data linking is detrimental to some business models. That is a weakness in the business models, not in data linking. They're victim to the classic fallacy that data is worth more as a secret than when it's shared.

What if it takes a lot of work (human work, not CPU cycles) to collect, analyze and process / clean up this information before it is presented? Flawed business model? Then the idea of sharing it is flawed as well. Why put a lot of work into something if you get nothing out of it?

Frist stoP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32595900)

won't be shouting 3ould choose to use

moron charged with predicting creators' big flash (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32595940)

everybody has to do something, right?

the corepirate nazi illuminati is always hunting that patch of red on almost everyones' neck. if they cannot find yours (greed, fear ego etc...) then you can go starve. that's their 'platform' now.

never a better time for all of us to consult with/trust in our creators. the lights are coming up rapidly all over now. see you there?

greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of our dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children. not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one, & the terminal damage to our atmosphere (see also: manufactured 'weather', hot etc...). see you on the other side of it? the lights are coming up all over now. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be your guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. we now have some choices. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on your brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

"The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."--

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson

no need to confuse 'religion' with being a spiritual being. our soul purpose here is to care for one another. failing that, we're simply passing through (excess baggage) being distracted/consumed by the guaranteed to fail illusionary trappings of man'kind'. & recently (about 10,000 years ago) it was determined that hoarding & excess by a few, resulted in negative consequences for all.

consult with/trust in your creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." )one does not need to agree whois in charge to grasp the notion that there may be some assistance available to us(

boeing, boeing, gone.

Xanadu! (1)

gb7djk (857694) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596014)

Some of us what are old enough see so many "new" things that are repackaged "old" things that have been either forgotten about or simply over looked. Methinks this is another example. The implementation details may be different, but this idea was first promulgated in *1960*! http://www.xanadu.net/ [xanadu.net] refers...

Re:Xanadu! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32596642)

Well as long as I'm standing on your lawn, could you enlighten me as to what Xanadu actually was beyond the buzzwords? http://www.udanax.com/FAQ.html is spectacularly uninformative.

no that was bidirectional links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32599632)

no that was bidirectional links. this is making every struct, and field, and datatype, individually addressable with its own long term uri. if we apply the google algorithm to that rather than only to webpages that link to each other (does google make use of #sections of a webpage in its indexing?), then we will be able to find out where the most important information is, in a more fine grained manner than currently.

the hope is this will greatly increase the utility to the resultant data mining.

Dangers of linking (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32596082)

There are inherent dangers of this level of linkage. One week,
person clicks link X: "We are at war with eurasia",
next week, clicks the same link "We were never at war with eurasia".

No one else see this? Archiving all information on the internet is one thing, but singularly cataloging and tagging every piece of information so that it can be accessed so easily is....well, dangerous.
While the irony of posting this on the internet is not lost on me, where all the collective information of mankind is at my fingertips, it just chills me to the bone to think that one day, phrases like "due process" and "freedom of speech" could be changed so easily.

Re:Dangers of linking (1)

nunojsilva (1019800) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596592)

That one day is 1969-10-29, right?

I mean, the danger was always there, it's more a feature than a design error.

You can always trust an archive, or at least write a "fetch timestamp", when writing serious stuff, like wikipedia articles. (Anyway, an URL bibliography item should always say when it was fetched.)

I don't know if, on the other hand, by linking smaller portions of data, we aren't making it easier to find and track that kind of changes.

It is hard to read a hundred-paragraph document to track 3 or 4 pieces of data. On the other hand, if those 3 or 4 pieces are independent links, with descriptive names, you might need nothing else to guess what should be written in the linked resource, "Uh, link `we-are-at-war'. Oh wait, it now says we never were at war...".

Re:Dangers of linking (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597048)

There are inherent dangers of this level of linkage. One week,
person clicks link X: "We are at war with eurasia",
next week, clicks the same link "We were never at war with eurasia".

No one else see this?

Uh... yeah, but that's not inherent to data linking, that's inherent to digital information. Electronic data is mutable and therefore evanescent in nature. Period.

The entire history of digital information storage is a dialectic between data's innate mutability and the need for enduring records. Data linking is a (single) step toward the latter end of the continuum.

include hash in the uri (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32599696)

not if the uri and the addressing scheme is based on a hash, then the resource wouldnt be able to be changed. if it were changed it would become a new resource with a new uri. look at the way decentralised p2p systems are evolving. many use dhts or even ring topologies where look up is not too slow.

hopefully if this becomes the underlying internet infrastructure then it is more efficient than these p2p schemes, but still i think including deniability and crypto hashes is very important. surely we can include a 128bit hash to go with every 100byte struct that has a 40byte uri.. the bloat is scary thats why we really need to design this right so that it scales.

xanadu which was an earlier bidirectional link idea would have been interesting and perhaps some of those idea could also be included. imagine if a server could notify google when its changed and even do some of the indexing in a decentralised way and then just rsync the parts that have changed, so we get near realtime updating in an efficient manner.

Linked Data is a mess (5, Insightful)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596274)

The concept of linking huge amount of publicly accessible data is obviously worthwhile. The problem with the Linked Data movement is the current implementation. It is a total mess. The insistent attempts to pre-standardize open data have created a horrible bureaucratic monster. RDF, RDFS, RDFa, N3, RIF, SWRL, OWL, SPARQL, FOAF, SIOC, and a few others I forgot on top of XML. Every time you encounter a field with so many acronyms you know something horribly wrong is being developed. The consultants and enterprise "experts" will have a field day with this.

Re:Linked Data is a mess (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596574)

I disagree. Assigning a URI to every piece of data is a duplication of data and a waste of bandwidth, both of the network and of the people designing the linking system.

As Google has proved, the web is content-addressable, and URIs are relegated to being routing tokens. They're exposed to the user, but they really don't need to be.

But consider what happens if we cause the routing also to be performed on a content-addressable basis... No more URIs. Your request for the information is routed based on requesting of the nodes near you which one is likely to know the answer. Then when you do a Google-type search, the response you get isn't a URI for your browser to follow, it's the answer itself.

Re:Linked Data is a mess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32596658)

Did you reply to the right comment? You're not making sense.

Re:Linked Data is a mess (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598224)

Yes actually. He's discussing why having a place to look for Pi isn't as good as saying "What's Pi?"

Re:Linked Data is a mess (2, Funny)

nickdwaters (1452675) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597318)

His engineering approach is built upon REST. The principle issue is that of indexing all this linked data so that 1) the schema is stable, 2) it is locatable, 3) it is useful, 4) managed ACLs. I am sure there are a host of potential issues.

Re:Linked Data is a mess (3, Insightful)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597420)

Ha! REST and ACL. I knew I forgot some important acronyms there. ;-)

Joking aside, having a stable schema is important, but not letting the "ecosystem" decide what's best on its own is damaging because it leads to over-engineering (or "enterprising") by a minority which most often does not know what's best for the majority. It also leads to numerous unusable bureaucratic documents which take the wind out of anyone who's trying to do anything useful. I'm talking from personal experience here.

Know the saying "premature optimization is the root of all evil"? Well, premature standardization is a special case of that.

Re:Linked Data is a mess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597578)

I did my thesis on this topic. It's amazing how much technology preference shifted over the past year. In September of 2009, the battle between OWL1 / RDF was raging, and it wasn't yet obvious how reasoning would benefit the semantic web. Now, just 10 months later, OWL2 has emerged a clear winner, and OWLlink is the main standard for linking reasoners and ontologies. So no, it isn't the data formats holding it back.

The semantic web has the same problems as functional programming. Nobody learns it in school. And do you really think somebody will use a paradigm they don't know anything about for a critical business project, let alone [b]their own business?[/b] No, they'll use imperative programming and relational databases, because that's what they learned in school.

Go Tim, educate the engineers of tomorrow! We went from binary formats to XML, and we can push it further to the semantic web.

Re:Linked Data is a mess (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598140)

Every time you encounter a field with so many acronyms you know something horribly wrong is being developed.

I suggest you never get involved with the US military. More TLAs than you can shake a stick at.

One hit wonders like Berners-Lee (0, Troll)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596530)

should thank the gods for his good fortune and not hog the stage.

So you think I'm Trolling (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596662)

OK, I'll bite. What was B-L's 2nd successful contribution to the Web?

Re:So you think I'm Trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32598134)

What was Thomas Edison's second successful contribution to the incandescent light bulb?
What was Hyman Rickover's second successful contribution to nuclear powered naval vessels?
What was William Shatner's second successful contribution to science fiction on TV?

Re:So you think I'm Trolling (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 3 years ago | (#32599790)

"What was Thomas Edison's second successful contribution to the incandescent light bulb?

The carbonized bamboo filament.

What was Hyman Rickover's second successful contribution to nuclear powered naval vessels?

The indictment of P. Takis Veliotis.

"What was William Shatner's second successful contribution to science fiction on TV?"

His portrayal of the Big Giant Head on 3rd Rock from the Sun.

Re:So you think I'm Trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32599698)

The initial XML spec.

Linked Data course at UT Austin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32596852)

A similar course was offered last semester at UT Austin, but with more emphasis on cloud databases.

http://sites.google.com/site/cs395t10/

MIT courses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597042)

an "MIT Course" would accurately be an entire university department. An "MIT subject" is what they're talking about here.

OpenSim And Second Life (1)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597078)

Changes are already made within OpenSim And Second Life that fetch assets not by file protocol and UD, but by HTTP. Opensim(second life free version) can even load entire region data via http URL(implemented) within the last month.

For those that dont know, 1/3 of Linden Labs have been made redundant, and some bloggers suspect this is in response to the sudden reliasation that its all about HTTP and not about propriertry viewers any more.

In the day I used to load TGAs via C. Its interesting noting the source code in Opensim that loads a textures via HTTP.

Almost certainly this is a response to the percieved advantage of being facebbok like(rightly or wrongly).

A quick and dirty example: A persons 3D avatar(Colada mesh file ) is stored on their website. As they visit a 3D world in browser, the world takes their metadata(loads the mesh via HTTP URL) and other participants see that representation.

Re:OpenSim And Second Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597552)

This would destroy SL's entire "economy", which relies on the fact that you cannot build things using quality tools and import them. You must pay someone who had the patience to learn how SL's clunky modelling system works to build it for you.

Re:OpenSim And Second Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597676)

I don't think you realize what the semantic web is about. It is about offering data as an annotated graph. Because you say "My movie theatre has showings at 7pm and 9pm, the address is 34 Liberty Lane.", the user can combine this information with the bus schedule to know if he'll be able to get back home after the 9pm showing. This is the power of the semantic web, but not a lot of users get this.

Not Xanadu again please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32597782)

We already went once through that vaporware enfilade with Ted Nelson.

Grumble. (4, Interesting)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597916)

As a college professor, I believe that the primary goal of a class should not be to advance your personal agenda. Feel free to share your opinions with your students, but your primary purpose is to inform and inspire, not to brainwash.

I'm clearly in the minority on this one.

Re:Grumble. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32598172)

Well, I'm guessing that the guidelines for teaching a graduate class at MIT are probably quite different than those for teaching a class at a community college...

Re:Grumble. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32599178)

Holy hell!
I thought the same thing!
Totally unethical when I 1st read it.

Re:Grumble. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32599826)

True, education should inform and inspire, not brainwash. But educating on how TCP/IP and HTTP work is hardly scientific. We figured that out by now.

The semantic web has huge potential and is full of scientific challenges. But seeing the potential requires taking the effort of understanding what it is about. Interestingly enough, it turns out even proclaimed 'open-minded' computer people are conservative when it comes to novel ideas like the semantic web. Also on slashdot, many people discard the idea without even understanding the concept.

Good to teach this stuff at university. Then let the students make up their minds themselves.

Re:Grumble. (1)

cekander (848307) | more than 3 years ago | (#32603820)

"Advancing your personal agenda" is something that all teachers should aspire to. Why should I teach an subject matter if I don't believe the world will benefit? Because of a paycheck? Fuck no, I aint no sell-out. The problem is, most teachers are. And they brainwash just as much, if not more ( because it's more subconscious and systemic ).

And I'm sure Tim Berners Lee will field complaints and encourage formal discussions with any students questioning the subject matter, something that sell-out brainwashing teachers will resist doing. So the real problem here is retarded students who dont know how to question what they're being taught, and in this case, I dont imagine that applies to many of the MIT grads attending this particular course.

CommonTag (1)

smontgomerie (1309227) | more than 3 years ago | (#32598664)

There are a lot of companies and organizations trying to champion linked data, but linked data is nothing if those same companies and organizations don't adopt standards and push them ubiquitously. That was the motivation behind http://commontag.org/ [commontag.org] . It's a semantic data set of interrelated semantic concepts from various sources, but with a pretty impressive line of companies backing it up and implementing it.

The semantic web is a huge scam. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32604334)

The semantic web is a huge scam.

designed to provide "research area" to computer science phds.. pick a random buzz word "rdf" "sparql" "owl" "n3" and then cue the grant money...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...