Thursday, January 06, 2011

Ian was Right and I was Wrong

Following Ian Davis' post A Guide to Publishing Linked Data Without Redirects, I followed with A(nother) Guide to Publishing Linked Data Without Redirects. In that post, I argued that resource descriptions should be separated from resource representations at the HTTP level. I see now that I was wrong.

Ian challenged me to come up with a compelling reason why HTTP should encode the difference between a resource representation and a resource description and, after some effort, I simply could not. Ian summarized his thoughts in a new post: Back to Basics with Linked Data and HTTP.

The problem in my mind has always related to the use of HTTP URIs to identify things in the real world. We can get around that easily enough by returning RDF whenever someone resolves those URIs. You get a description of a real-world thing that is as richly described as the publisher wanted it to be. Cool.