Last week has marked the culmination of almost three years of hard work coming out of the Linked Data Platform WG, resulting in the publication of the Linked Data Platform 1.0 as a W3C Recommendation. For those of you not yet familiar with LDP, this specification defines a set of rules for HTTP operations on Web resources, some based on RDF, to provide an architecture for read-write Linked Data on the Web. The most important feature of LDP is that it provides us with a standard way of RESTfully writing resources (documents) on the Web [examples], without having to rely on conventions (APIs) based around POST and PUT.
In practice, LDP should allow developers to take full advantage of the decentralized nature of the Web. Web apps now have a way to read and write data to any server that has implemented LDP 1.0. This technology has the potential to radically transform the way we are used to viewing Web application development, by decoupling the app (user interface) from the data it produces/consumes. We hope it will usher in a wave of innovation in terms of UI and app quality, enabling developers to easily “fork” apps and seamlessly add new features, since the data model is not directly impacted by the fork.
Being quite a radical change from the so-called “silo” apps we are used to, it also means that we are now faced with a lot of challenges, such as paging large resources, optimizing write operations by patching resources, and especially in terms of decentralized personal identities and access control. The LDP working group has plans to address these challenges in the coming year. Please consider joining the group if you are doing relevant work in those directions.