you're reading...
FYI, Linked Data

Some random notes on hypermedia and Linked Data

I stumbled over a tweet from Mike Amundsen where he essentially asked people to name some more “widely-used hypermedia-types” beside (X)HTML and Atom. Turns our Mike collected the findings and made it available at http://amundsen.com/hypermedia/. Cool. Thanks!

Couple of days later I read Linking data in XML and HATEOAS where Wilhelm contemplates about Linked Data etc. The last sentence of his post reads:

Anyone know why XLink was abandoned, or why linked data doesn’t follow this concept?

My hunch is that XLink didn’t have the expected uptake and hence failed to serve as a basis for a light-weight and simple way to link data on the Web.

As I’ve argued in a previous post, typed links are essential for true HATEOS, however I wonder if we’ve only scratched the surface of this …


About woddiscovery

Web of Data researcher and practitioner


10 thoughts on “Some random notes on hypermedia and Linked Data

  1. I use XLink internally every day. I also use it in custom desktop and console clients that use the HTTP protocol.

    And I also think we have lots of opportunity to explore hypermedia links in new and existing media-types.

    Posted by Mike Amundsen | 2010-02-10, 18:43
    • Mike,

      Thanks a lot for your comment – very interesting to learn this. Is there anything publicly available I could have a look at? source code-wise, documentation, etc …


      Posted by woddiscovery | 2010-02-11, 09:56
  2. XLink failed because of a mix of issues. its model was basically undefined, it only was a syntax. the syntax is not all that great and a lot of people disliked it because it was namespace-heavy. the vaguely defined model was very much centered around UIs for links, i.e. behavior of links for users interacting with them. the XLink designers had a very strong background in document-centric hypermedia/hypertext, but zero background in machine-oriented “hyperdata” or REST. XLink is used internally and survived in some specs in a limited form, but other than that, it was a near-100% failure. and the most promising idea of XLink, the idea of a “linkbase”, a place where you could go to find links, was completely underspecified, and this is what some of the “discovery” work for SemWeb technologies tries to do in a better way today.

    Posted by dret | 2010-02-10, 19:02
    • Erik,

      Thanks for your detailed background story, much appreciated! Question now for me would be: what are the lessons learned. Can we somehow benefit from XLink concepts? What pieces would you advise me to look at?


      Posted by woddiscovery | 2010-02-11, 09:58
  3. I thought it was dead seven years ago and explained my theories why in an XML.com article at the time at http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2002/03/13/xlink.html .


    Posted by Bob DuCharme | 2010-02-10, 19:32
  4. Michael:

    I don’t any X:Link example to show, but here is a link to a live sample app that uses the related X:Include (which I find very useful).

    The link also points to a short article on the sample along with the available source code.

    Posted by Mike Amundsen | 2010-02-11, 15:00

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: