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From Linked Documentary Resources to Linked Computational Resources

  1. 1. From linked documentary resources to linked computational resources Alexandre Monnin (Paris 1, IRI, INRIA) , Nicolas Delaforge (INRIA), Fabien Gandon (INRIA) April 17, PhiloWeb 2012, WWW2012, Lyon, France
  2. 2. Goal. We wish to demonstrate that it is possible to account for the putative transition between a Web of document towards a Web of applications strictly from an architectural point of view.
  3. 3. Web Architecture: Three (?) main concepts URIs HTTP HTML /RDF REST
  4. 4. Assumption: Blogic is right 1/1. "<can-of-worms> Note, this is about what URIs refer to when used as logical names, not what they "identify" when used by HTTP. These are two quite distinct ideas. Typically (not always) a URI identifies some (source of) data about what it refers to. </can-of-worms>" (Pat Hayes)
  5. 5. Assumption: Blogic is right 2/2. Two visions. Blogic and RDF as it is (aka the Semantic Web?) - The Web comes first - We deal with HTTP URIs - Resources vs representations - RDF - We deal with URIs as proper names - Meaning of URIs
  6. 6. Two approaches, not two Webs - The RDF is one take on the Web, a model, not as complex as reality. - "Death by layers": but look, we got those layers already so we should think about them! How they relate to the Web (theory of assemblages).
  7. 7. Cake!
  8. 8. Resources (my - AM - take) - Resources aren't things out there : you don't need to previously check a thing exists in the physical or scientific sense of the word to identify a resource. - Cannot be accessed, we all know that ("shadows", if that is not a means without an end what is it ! Anything at all...). - The resource is what bears on the representations, what explains why there were picked up.
  9. 9. In REST (birthplace) Three things: 1. Resource 2. The states of a resource 3. The representational states of the resource 1. Rule 2. Application of the rule 3. Representation of that result
  10. 10. Resources are anything, but also... " (...) the semantics of what an author identfies". (Fielding and Taylor 2002) Just an author ? In Webarch this idea seems to come from Kripke's idea of baptism. There would lot to say but let's not discus this now. Let's rather find out if what we need is such a model of authorship.
  11. 11. Micro, meso, macro. The micro level focuses on the resource itself and its inner mechanisms. The meso level is about relations and interactions between computational resources. The macro level highlights the causal relations between an editorial policy of a publisher and the way he manages his web resources
  12. 12. Micro. More clients. Many more devices are becoming clients. "Web servers were originally designed to propose "filesystem like" remote services. Since the common gateway interfaces (CGI) their structure have become increasingly complex. Nowadays, servers are able to negotiate with clients to adjust the response so that most of the content is generated on the fly. Any Web server is also compatible with at least one programing language that can trigger the processing of very sophisticated tasks that sometimes involve other remote services."
  13. 13. Micro. Break the causal relation. "One of the defined rationale behind documentary resources is that people have tried to preserve the causal relation between a reference and an informational content, because it was constitutive of all our "real world" documentary reference systems. The evolution from documentary resource to computational resource made more obvious that this artificially preserved causal relation had been broken."
  14. 14. Micro. Conclusion. The documentary location has been replaced by a locus of computation, a space of invocation. CGI and REST have turn URL into RPC passing parameters to scripts or web services. Now everything is (and has always been in a sense) URI which are identifying protean resources that can turn themselves in any format required by the client. Such are the computational resources.
  15. 15. Micro to macro. As said before, a resource is a formal translation of a publishing rule but these rules can change, the implementation can evolve to match a new technological context, a bug can be fixed, a database can be updated with fresh data. There are many reasons for Web representations to change and that is the true communication power of the Web, an editor can instantly adapt the whole editorial chain synchronously with any informational/technological activity.
  16. 16. Meso Through HTTP, any computational resource is likely to refer to other resources or to communicate with them E.g.: • Web services composition and orchestration • Web Data transformations and Mashup More than ever, resources are related to each other and can be nested to create original compositions. Thus, qualifying the Web as an hypertext seems a little bit outdated so we would rather talk about hyperprocess.
  17. 17. Macro. Many more roles! 1/2 This seems to become clearer everyday. The authorship model was maybe related to the "documentary Web". A Web of addresses and static documents. Not that it ever was like that but it is the way it looked like and was thought of and used.
  18. 18. Macro. Many more roles 2/2 Too many to mention but a few: • URI "minter" • Resource definer? • Resource publisher • Service provider • Information architects • etc.
  19. 19. Macro. May be one person
  20. 20. Macro. More often not...
  21. 21. Macro. Computational commitment. On the other hand, it is more and more difficult for publishers to ensure a good quality of service throughout the processing chain. The technological stack and the processes involved in publishing a resource have become so complex and so distributed that it is becoming harder and harder to ensure a strict editorial commitment because as the Web grows in diversity, this commitment has turned into a computational one.
  22. 22. Macro. Many more rules (1/2). The resource is not the only rule : how individual resources are distinguished from one another depends on a publishing commitments. Other rules, more or less implicit. In other words, Web resources are often published as part of bigger resource sets, that have in common to be named and managed by the same publisher.
  23. 23. Macro. Many more rules (2/2). We consider that an editorial policy can be summarized as a structured rule set. Some of these rules are generic, some others are specific and can inherit or be related to broader ones. From this, we assert that any Web resource formally expresses one of these publishing rules. In other words, a Web resource is situated at the intersection of a number of publishing rules. A URI then gives access to a representational state that is the result of this intersection and its closure, while it only identifies the most specific rule involved in generating the aforementioned representational state.
  24. 24. Macro: editorial commitment. From the societal point of view, content publishers whose main activity was to produce content and to guarantee the quality of information now have to deal with various new constraints owing to the specificity of the medium.
  25. 25. Conclusion. The architecture of the Web of data and the models of the Semantic Web may provide a way to match the diversity of online resources by means of a framework of metadata designed to annotate Web resources and exploit the semantics of their schemas to process them intelligently. Metadata and their schemas could be the keystone of the new resource-centric Web applications, their integration and interoperability. It is conceivable that tomorrow, he who controls metadata on the Web, controls Web resources, and through them a lot of things.
  26. 26. Thanks!

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