I have recently read an interview with Herbert Van de Sompel
, who among others has worked on the OAI-PMH and the Memento project (for those for whom that rings a bell).
Recently his team has developed an initiative called ResourceSync
, that seems to be addressing exactly this - keeping distributed databases on the web mutually up to date.
It’s the closest thing I’ve ever seen that seems to address what we (and the entire interlinked web) would need in this area. I might have missed other initiatives, but this one gave me a big AHA moment!
In the interview I read. Herbert said that it didn’t see wide adoption yet though. I can imagine that, if the Wikimedia projects’ software would adopt this, it might have a snowball effect.
We've thought a lot about this, but not done anything formally yet. There is an example of this happening to improve the disease ontology presented in this paper .
Mechanically, parties interested in a particular swath of data linked to their resource could set up repeated SPARQL queries to watch for changes. Beyond that, the core mediawiki API could be used to create alerts when new discussions are started on articles or items of interest.
At some point we hope to produce a reporting site that would aggregate this kind of information in our domain (feedback and changes by the community) as well as changes by our bots and provide reports back to the primary sources and to whoever else was interested. (Maybe we will see a start on that this summer..) This hasn't become a priority yet because we haven't yet generated the community scope to make it a really valuable source of input to the original databases.
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