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Jonathan Rochkind

This is awesome news.

For real world likely use cases of VIAF, data from VIAF is going to be merged into other data sets, in complex ways.

I suggest you be clear about your 'attribution', about where/how the attribution needs to be given. On every individual page (or API response?) shown to a user (or software) that might possibly include a data element that may have come from VIAF? (A given app may or may not find it easy to track whether a given data element DID come from VIAF; if this is required, it raises the barriers to use).

Or just a single attribution in the application 'about' page 'documentation' saying "some data from VIAF? Or something in between?

Also, I may be revealing myself as crotchety old anti-RDF man here, but trying to comprehend the abstract and indirect graph of data here (VoID documents, what?), and start thinking out how to write the software to use it -- is reminding me unpleasantly of dealing with SOAP. I understand why you want to vend the data in RDF, for it's maximal abstraction, and (at least in my opinion) as a sort of proof of concept of RDF for real data. But if you were able to also provide the data in a simpler, more concise, less abstract/indirect, format fit to the VIAF data specifically (likely JSON)--I suspect you'd get more consumers using it.


We don't have anything against JSON, but haven't gotten around to it. The data is available in RDF, MARC-21, and the native XML. Attribution on a Web page somewhere would be fine. The ODC-By license is really at the dataset level, not the record. Since tracing all the bits would be impractical, it is neither expected nor reqired.

Sorry you don't like the VoID document. We thought it was a good way to collect together a description of the dataset. You can always read it as HTML, which we have tried to make readable.



I like the concept of VoID files, and yours renders nicely as HTML.
One minor issue is that the gzip'ed text file with links is not available. Could you check that, please?


The actual files for distribution aren't ready yet (nor is the VoID document in its final place in production). Should be up later this month.


Ed Summers

Hi Thom, thanks for this update. It is really exciting, particularly the news about the license and the various data dumps. It's a huge step forward.

I took a very quick look at the VoID document, and saw the embedded RDFa and Microdata. I ran it through the RDFa Distiller (http://www.w3.org/2007/08/pyRdfa/) to examine the triples, and it didn't look like much made it through. I did some quick fiddling to see if I could get it to work but nothing obvious popped out. Were you able to see the triples using another tool?

Ed Summers

My bad, it looks like the W3C distiller that is compatible with RDFa 1.1 (http://www.w3.org/2012/pyRdfa/) is able to extract the triples just fine. I was using the RDFa 1.0 distiller at http://www.w3.org/2007/08/pyRdfa/

I think 1.1 isn't a W3C REC yet, but @JeniT says it is close (https://twitter.com/#!/JeniT/status/190003638788308992). I guess it couldn't hurt to use 1.0 equivalent features until 1.1 support is solid if you want to be (perhaps overly) cautious.

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