Last night I had the privilege of giving a short talk at the Oxford Geek Night about the Open Data Definition.

Its been a while since I have done anything remotely like public speaking so I was rather glad that the event had plenty of “Free as in Beer” beer.

Those of you who are interested, I have uploaded a PDF version of my slides here.

ODD has generated a fair amount of comment. One commenter suggested that we were re-inventing the wheel somewhat.

Maybe that is partially true – there are other data portability formats available, RDF for example or SIOC (apparently pronounced “Shock”, although I’m not entirely sure how). The point we are making with ODD is that powerful as many of these formats are, they are just too complicated and in many cases ambiguous, and for those reasons are not going to see widespread adoption.

Tracked vehicles are very powerful and versatile, but sometimes you just need a bike.

RSS is a good example of what I’m talking about. RSS is nice and simple, and as a result has seen widespread industry adoption. Crucially too there are many applications that consume RSS as well as just produce it, which is something not many other formats can boast.

Our view is that while many of these formats are academically brilliant and conceptually very clever, but they are just too complicated.

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