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Linked Data, Proposal

How to Deal with Broken Data Links

So, we all came across 404 on the Web of Documents, right?

Bernhard Haslhofer recently raised an issue at the public-lod@w3.org mailing list regarding Broken Links in LOD Data Sets, which unfortunately didn’t yield big and deep discussions. I intend to rehash the thread here, come up with a straw-man proposal and ask you for your comments.

Here is Bernhard’s core message:

If we assume that the consumers of LOD data are not humans but applications, broken links/references are not only “annoying” but could lead to severe processing errors if an application relies on a kind of “referential integrity”.

Today I gave it a quick thought after reviewing the recent TAG discussion how they intent to deal with broken links in their documents: the straw-man proposal is called ‘repairing vintage link values’ (revival) and may look as follows.

  1. A human (e.g. through a built-in feature in a Web of Data browser such
    as Tabulator) encounters a broken link an reports it to the respective
    dataset publisher (the authoritative one who ‘owns’ it)
    OR
    A machine encounters a broken link (should it then directly ping the dataset publisher or first ‘ask’ its master for permission?)
  2. The dataset publisher acknowledges the broken link and creates according triples as done in the case for documents (cf. TAG’s proposal)

We note that there are two important assumptions: someone who uses the data reports it and the dataset publisher (rather than a centralised service) fixes it.

Comments, anyone?

About woddiscovery

Web of Data researcher and practitioner

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