DilbertA new article by Dan Brickley looks at RDF through the lens of beloved comic strip, Dilbert. The article begins, “How can we package, manage, mix and merge graph datasets that come from different contexts, without getting our data into a terrible mess? During the last W3C RDF Working Group meeting, we were discussing approaches to packaging up ‘graphs’ of data into useful chunks that can be organized and combined. A related question, one always lurking in the background, was also discussed: how do we deal with data that goes out of date?”

It adds, “The following scenario was posted to the RDF group as a way of exploring these [questions]. I repeat it here almost unaltered. I often say that RDF describes a simplified – and sometimes over-simplified – cartoon universe. So why not describe a real cartoon universe? Pat Hayes posted an interesting proposal that explores an approach to these problems; since he cited this scenario, I wrote it up as a blog post.”

The article continues, “Consider an RDF vocabulary for describing office assignments in the cartoon universe inhabited by Dilbert. Beyond the name, the examples here aren’t tightly linked to the Dilbert cartoon. First I describe the universe, then some ways in which we might summarise what’s going on using RDF graph descriptions. I would love to get a sense for any ‘best practice’ claims here. Personally I see no single best way to deal with this, only different and annoying tradeoffs. So — this is a fictional highly simplified company in which workers each are assigned to occupy exactly one cubicle, and in which every cubicle has at most one assigned worker. Cubicles may also sometimes be empty.”

Read more here.