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Exposing your Linked Datasets in hypermedia collections

enables you to describe relations between a specific value and all members a page linked from this current page. Using this specific relation, a script or autonomous query client (such as Comunica and Planner.js) can understand whether following the link will be useful or not.

Build the spec using bikeshed:

bikeshed watch

The spec will be built automatically when pushing to master.

The Vocabulary

Base URI to be used:

Preferred prefix: tree:.

All newly introduced terms are explained in the RDF vocabulary.

Most important concepts:

  • a tree:Node is a page that may contain members of a tree:Collection
  • a node has tree:relation entities with links to other nodes. This relation is typed (e.g., tree:GeospatiallyContainsRelation or a tree:PrefixRelation),
  • the relation has a tree:value and a tree:path. The former is a literal value on which the search term can be compared. The tree:path explains to which property of the members of the collection this relation applies.

The specification

Available at

Mind that a server exposing data with must set the CORS headers to allow any host.

Questions and Answers

Why publish a hypermedia structure?

When a document grows too large for 1 HTTP response, we need to fragment it. The way we fragment it will immediatly decide what queries will be fast and which queries will be slow. Hypermedia can be used to hit the sweet spot between data dumps and querying APIs (such as GraphQL or SPARQL). It is particularly a sweet spot for Open Data publishers that need a cost-efficient way of publishing their data, while allowing third parties to create serverless applications to reuse the data.

dump fragments query
processing client shared server
server cost low okay high
client cost high okay low
caching low high low
query execution control high high low

Why hypermedia?

When you write a client for one server, you can get away with hard-coding the way the API is built based on the API specification. When building a client for the entire Web, we need to make very general specifications that still allow our client to understand what it can do next. The latter are called the hypermedia controls.

What are triples? JSON-LD? RDF? URIs? Linked Data?

Same idea as hypermedia, only for understanding the elements in the pages itself. See these intro slides, or read this chapter.

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