JavaScript RDF

We interrupt your regular thinking

I wrote a while back about putting RDF files out on Amazon’s S3 file storage. Why, I was asked. After all, I don’t have enough files, I have room on my server, and so on. Yup, I agreed. Other than S3 being nifty tech and wanting to be a cool kid, why would one want to use it?

One reason: it forces one to think differently about application development and data storage when you’re restricted to using web services rather than traditional file or database I/O to access the data.

Les Orchard wrote today about his S3 Wiki work:

One of the mind-bending concepts behind this whole thing for me is that both the documents and the authoring application are all resident on the S3 servers, loaded and run on the fly in a browser. The magic S3 lends is simple file I/O, taken for granted by applications in nearly every other development environment. Otherwise, JavaScript in a browser is a very capable system.

I agree that JavaScript in the browser is a very capable front end. Oh, I don’t agree with replacing Word with Ajax–why do we always see Office as the only killer app in the world and systems have to ‘replace’ it to be considered viable? But JavaScript in browsers, as we progress closer to true cross-browser compatibility, is a very powerful application development system.

However, the part that caught my interest specifically is what Les wrote about the data storage of his wiki application. He is spot on in that S3 changes how you think of I/O (Input/Output). It forces you to challenge your data storage assumptions–all the golden rules you’ve learned since you were knee high to a grasshopper. When you do, you get this sudden burst of ideas. It’s like biting into a SweeTarts candy–you’re not sure if you like the experience, but it sure gets your attention.

In my copious spare five minutes a week, I’m loading RDF into S3. I have an idea. It came to me in a burst. It made my face pucker.

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