Thoughts on Information Finding

Reflections and reblogs

What is RDF?

In order to understand how semantic web programming will work, one first needs to understand RDF. In order for a webpage to be searchable using this protocol, the designers of the page must save metadata using the Resource Description Framework (RDF).

RDF is much like XML. You can view an example on the RDF Tutorial page.

<rdf:Description rdf:about=””&gt;
<si:author>Jan Egil Refsnes</si:author>


You can see the similarities with XML. This metadata is invisible to a human viewing a web page.

This could easily lead away from collaborative web development were it not for software, such as the Semantic MediaWiki, which makes it easier for contributors to enter the metadata, and the software saves it in the proper format. There are developers who are developing software in new directions, while not losing the ground we have gained in the meantime with collaborative Web 2.0 development.

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2 responses to “What is RDF?

  1. Stephane Corlosquet December 27, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    RDF is more than XML. RDF/XML is just one way of serializing RDF, but there are more ways (RDFa, ntriples, turtle, etc.). XML is used to represent data as trees, while RDF allows to build graphs. Do not confuse RDF (data as a graph) and its serialization (RDF/XML, RDFa, etc.).

    • susan December 28, 2009 at 9:03 am

      Stephane, thanks for replying – and I hadn’t seen your blog before ( You have a lot of interesting information on the semantic web and Drupal!


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