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Re: canonical definition of RDF?

From: Alex Hall <alexhall@revelytix.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 10:41:38 -0400
Message-ID: <BANLkTikeqec9hz03zauVKqLpn=gwTN7SVw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ted Thibodeau Jr <tthibodeau@openlinksw.com>
Cc: public-rdf-wg@w3.org, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
On Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 10:22 AM, Ted Thibodeau Jr <tthibodeau@openlinksw.com
> wrote:

> All --
>
> Forgive a newb-ish question from a newly nominated member...
>
> I'm struggling with authoritatively answering a conversational
> question -- "What *is* RDF?" -- without falling back to markup
> and serialization.
>

Peter gave an excellent answer to that question on this list:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-rdf-wg/2011Mar/0673.html

It's not canonical but it's highly informative, and if you haven't read it
already then it's a good place to start.


>
> I can't find a canonical definition that satisfies my understanding
> of the reality.


> I've found several different descriptions, but none feel much like
> a definition beyond acronym expansion, and they disagree with each
> other -- even the 3 TRs which were published simultaneously --
> <snip/>
>
Is there an existing authoritative answer (which maybe even the
> most sacred historical electronic document might be updated to
> point to, even as it retains its operational definition in-line
> for historical context)?
>

You're not alone in that respect -- newcomers to RDF who try to absorb it by
poring through the specs usually come away disappointed.  It generally takes
people several months to gain a clear understanding of what RDF *is*.  My
advice to a newcomer would be:

0. Read the message from Peter linked above (and I wouldn't mind seeing this
incorporated into the Primer).
1. Read the Primer (but disregard anything about RDF/XML as nobody tends to
use that these days except for legacy reasons).
2. Download Jena or a similar RDF toolkit, work through some tutorials,
write a toy program or two.
3. Come back to the specs when you have specific questions that need
answering.

-Alex



>
> Thanks for your help,
>
> Ted
>
>
>
>
>
> --
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>
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Received on Thursday, 7 April 2011 14:42:06 GMT

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