The W3C has shared a new interview by Ian Jacobs with Semantic Web expert Ora Lassila. When Jacobs asked about the relationship between the current proliferation of APIs and data integration, Orsilla commented, "I see the Open Web Platform and Linked Data together offering a solution. Good APIs are a step in the right direction. They give apps access to same functionality and data. But eventually things will become very complex because you have a large number of APIs that you need to take into account. The challenge in API-based integration is, what do you do about use cases you did not anticipate? In the longer term we must provide integration between silos. I want to have data that can move freely, that has been engineered to integrate easily with other data. Linked data standards are a very good candidate solution for achieving this. Other options may come along, but today linked data is the top contender."
Asked about digital rights management, Orsilla noted, "Digital rights management with linked data can be tricky because linked data lets you make use of fine-grained data. Current DRM technology is well-suited for much larger chunks. Semantic Web technology allows us to track the provenance (and potentially ownership) of small pieces of data, even after those pieces have been combined with data from many other sources into something bigger. This is absolutely one of the most attractive things about the technologies we've defined: fine-grained integration is possible, and you can take apart the data later with reliable provenance information. Provenance information is important in a world of aggregation since we may prefer some sources more than others for various social reasons."
Image: Courtesy W3C