[openbiblio-dev] JISC openbib update

William Waites ww at styx.org
Wed May 4 14:58:17 UTC 2011

* [2011-05-04 15:23:26 +0100] Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org> écrit:

] Why do we need to write a general purpose JSON-LD parser? (Not trying
] to be difficult but to understand!). I had imagined JSON-LD being used
] in the context of an API where there would be a limited amount of
] material to serialize and deserialize (i.e. we are not trying to do
] huge RDF documents ...). Does this restriction help?

Because we want JSON-LD (or some JSON variant, this is far from
settled, but putting our implementation into the wild will help to
build consensus) to be used in other projects, ideally by other
people. We need a parser and a serialiser, and we don't want to have
to make new ones every time we want to do this.

In order to be reuseable, the right way to do this is at the RDFLib
level, not higher up in the stack.

] But standard RDF/JSON completely defeats the point of having a JSON
] (REST) API -- low entry cost for average web coder (after we could
] just use sparql for a lot of this)

So what has been discovered is that RDF/JSON is easier to do. Now that
we have actually tried implementing both, the tradeoff can be more
sensibly evaluated.

There is a significant disadvantage with JSON-LD in that it is
ambiguous in terms of serialisation, and it is also lossy in terms of
datatypes. We could merge JSON-LD and JSON-LD-CURIE to fix the latter
problem. To fix the former problem, you basically will need a
javascript library to sanely work with the data.

] OK but it seems we are now doing something different from the
] originally anticipated usage of JSON-LD (which use in an API with
] transmission of "smallish" objects such as Entry, Collection, Entity
] etc).

There was never an anticipated usage of JSON-LD. It was a promising
looking serialisation that we would try out. Now we've tried it out,
we know more about what it actually means to do.

] Also: do we need to do whole records for what is needed in
] bibliographica. The original discussion of JSON-LD was in improving on
] our current 'ad-hoc' dictization / json serialization. In that context
] is JSON-LD not better?

This question is mis-posed because you're thinking too high in the
stack. The answer is that we need to serialise whatever statements
we have. This can be an entire graph (record) or a few triples or
anything in between.


William Waites                <mailto:ww at styx.org>
http://river.styx.org/ww/        <sip:ww at styx.org>
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