Alistair Miles

Category: web architecture

Versioning and the Web

This post looks at some of the problems of identifying, decribing and linking “versions” of “digital objects”, from the point of view of the Web, drawing especially on the Architecture of the Web published by W3C. These thoughts were stimulated by the recent kickoff meeting of the new Version Information Framework (VIF) project, at which versioning was discussed in the context of adding value to digital repositories — I hope this post provides some useful input to the VIF project team.

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The Architecture of the Web, Web Services and the Semantic Web

Looking back on the experience of drafting the Best Practice Recipes for Publishing RDF Vocabularies (we affectionately referred to it as the Cookbook), I felt at the time like we were trying to thread the eye of an extremely small needle. Coming up with a workable solution, that was consistent with the current W3C/IETF specifications and TAG directives, was a bit like trying to find a way through a large and rather complicated maze.

Looking at the Cookbook now, I can’t help feeling that the solution we have is far from optimal. My main cause for concern is, quite simply, the robustness of the solution. Although there are a remarkable and inspiring number of people out there who really do want to do the Right Thing, it’s just so easy to get it “Wrong”. If the integrity of the Semantic Web depends on absolutely everybody getting it “Right”, it will be a fragile system indeed.

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