this morning i was contacted by the Linked Data™ Police. i found the following email in my inbox, from a pretty well-established researcher at a pretty well-established institution:
I came across this: http://repositories.cdlib.org/ischool/2009-035/
So you consciously redefine termlinked datato mean something different. Look, the big point of linked data is that it means you are interoperable with a large number of existing data sources available in the same data model and protocol, like Freebase, DBpedia, Geonames, and so forth. I had to explain to colleagues that no, there is nobody working on providing linked data for recovery.gov, and the guys in Berkeley who claim to be working on it are actually just abusing the term as a buzzword in order to get free attention, but actually have no intention of delivering anything that's interoperable with the linked data standards.
There are perfectly descriptive terms for the technology you are using, REST and ROA.
You do a disservice to yourself. What you do is intellectually dishonest and unnecessarily antagonizes those who have worked hard to establish a set of interoperable practices around RDF on the web.
Please stop this practice.
so instead of just discussing the question of whether Linked Data requires RDF, you now get a cease and desist letter when your work is about publishing data that is linked and you dare to call it Linked Data. i think the letter mostly speaks for itself, but what really scares me is the upside-down attitude expressed by it. instead of looking at the web at something that is good and helpful and should be improved by adding more semantics, and then trying to figure out the most effective way of doing this, given the constraints of the scenario considered, it starts with a set of technologies you have and want to use, and then claim that whatever you want to do, you have to do it using those technologies.
generally, the approach to use generic problem names to refer to specific technologies is something that only helps to confuse a lot of people, and mostly is an attempt to position these technologies in a way which makes competition harder. my favorite examples for bad labels for specific technologies are Linked Data, Semantic Web, Web Services, and XML Schema. if you build technologies, stick to calling them technologies, don't start calling them solutions. a solution is a technology that is applied to a given problem within the limits given by the problem scenario's constraints, and no technology can predict the problem.
oh, and, just for the record: if you look at the approach we're taking beyond just checking of whether we propose to use RDF directly, RDF is just a stylesheet away. publish your data in a RESTful way that's accessible to all feed users and readers out there, and then writing some GRDDL that will fill a triple store becomes trivial. which kind of demonstrates the point that RDF is just an implementation issue, it should not be the litmus test of whether you follow the True Path Of Linked Data. and the report quoted above actually explicitly explains exactly what we do, and how it compares to the narrower definition of Linked Data:
Recently, the idea of openly accessible data has been promoted under the term oflinked data, with recent recommendations being centered around a very specific choice of technologies and data models (all centered around Semantic Web approaches focusing on RDF for data representation and centralized data storage). While it is possible to use these approaches for building Web applications, our recommendation is to use better established and more widely supported technologies, thereby lowering the barrier-to-entry and choosing a simpler toolset for achieving the same goals as with the more sophisticated technologies envisioned for the Semantic Web. For the remainder of this report, we use the termlinked dataas the general concept of publishing interlinked data representations, without referring to the one specific way of implementing it that is often associated with that term as well.
i think this is about as clear as you can get. and i think a pretty large set of substantial problems have yet to be tackled in the RDF approach to linked data; identity, provenance, dynamic services, granularity, and updates come to mind. so rather than arguing about who is entitled to call linked data Linked Data™, it might be more interesting and enlightening to compare different approaches as solutions for specific problems, and see how well they work.