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Brian Foy thinks Blogs can be public databases:

"I already "blog for Google", which is the same thing as the old usenet practice of posting a post about some problem I encountered and how I solved it. These entries are not really for discussion, but more for the archives so that the next poor soul can find it. Randal Schwartz tells me this is how it was back in the day when he could read all of usenet in a half-hour."

Query language, anyone?

July 12, 2004 06:56 PM


(July 13, 2004 07:49 AM #)

Exactly what use is an rdf query language going to be to work with data generated by a community that has most of their data in html and non-RDF versions of RSS and which has shown itself to be remarkably averse to having anything to do with RDF, evidenced by the history of the competing RSS specs?

(July 13, 2004 12:18 PM #)

Bill, may I? -

Exactly lots of use. It doesn't really matter if a feed is non-RDF RSS (or Atom) as the feed data model is pretty much the same across all dialects. Stick most RSS 2.0 through some XSLT and you can get RSS 1.0 (the code I'm working on at the moment will feed RSS x.x into an RDF store directly, but the idea's the same).

The fact that a lot of data is only available in HTML is a valid point, there isn't much metadata and Google doesn't (?) use it. But it's a problem across the board, having little to do with RDF specifically, except being a big reason why we need it...

btw, did you see:

(July 13, 2004 03:58 PM #)

when you say "Stick most RSS 2.0 through some XSLT and you can get RSS 1.0" you imply that there is some RSS 2.0 you can't get RSS 1.0 out of, is this limited to badly formed RSS, or are we also talking about RSS with escaped content?

I've been waiting for semanticwebsearch to return results for the past ten minutes so I've sort of given up on commenting, other than the first query I checked, against FOAF wasn't particularly impressive, in that I would want appropriate display of various FOAF elements, for example [image] either gets or allows one to click on the image, same with homepage, a link to the homepage. Currently all it shows is name value pairs for the person outlined in the foaf document. This of course opens up all sorts of problems, which is why I suppose it was not done. Not doing it however is a clear indication of the limits of utility.

(July 15, 2004 05:01 PM #)

Right, I suppose it would be better to say that you can always get RSS 1.0 out of (spec-valid) RSS 2.0, but you still can't tell whether or not the content is meant to be HTML. Or something.

The limits of utility? I'd think it more likely to indicate the limits on the time available to the developers - it's not hard to imagine the FOAF URIs being returned being passed to a UI like FOAF Explorer:

Or to put it another way, all you get back from a SQL query is a table of results, which is a clear indication of the limits of utility...

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