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Re: RDFa + RDF/XML Considered Harmful? (was RE: Ordnance Survey data as Linked Data)

From: Knud Hinnerk Möller <knud.moeller@deri.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2008 15:18:10 +0100
Cc: "Kingsley Idehen" <kidehen@openlinksw.com>, <public-lod@w3.org>, <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-Id: <DE25F0FD-6FA3-4918-B41A-498CEE2F10C1@deri.org>
To: Tom Heath <Tom.Heath@talis.com>

On 14.07.2008, at 09:55, Tom Heath wrote:

> Question: is it worth creating a duplicate RDF graph by using RDFa in
> HTML documents, when there is also RDF/XML available just one <link
> rel=".../> away, and at a distinct URI? Doesn't this RDFa + RDF/XML
> pattern complicate the RDF-consumption picture in general if we assume
> agents will want to do something with data aggregated from a number of
> sources/locations, i.e. doesn't it increase the cost of removing
> duplicate statements by creating more in the first place?

I don't know how other stand on this, but I always thought of RDFa and  
RDF/XML for solutions to different problems. While RDF/XML is the  
general-purpose solution for publishing to the SW, RDFa to me is  
mainly a beautiful way of publishing ad hoc, small-scale things to the  
Semantic Web, particularly in those situations where the author  
doesn't have access to an infrastructure that allows them to upload  
triples to an RDF store, or configure a server to perform .htaccess  
wizardry and other kinds of content negotiation. The prime example  
(but of course not the only use case) I always had in mind for RDFa  
are blogs, where the author quickly wants to generate some metadata on  
the fly. Also, RDFa lends itself nicely to the copy&paste scenario  
that others have already mentioned, and which is illustrated e.g. in  
[1] and [2].

RDFa is directly tied to XHTML, which is a format for representing  
data to humans. Therefore I would argue that RDFa would be most useful  
for a snippet of a complete RDF graph which is actually interesting  
for humans. The contact details of a person, the details of an event,  
the complete reference to a paper, etc.


[1] http://sw.deri.org/~knud/papers/MetadataRoundtripWWW2007/
[2] http://kantenwerk.org/shift
Knud Möller, MA
+353 - 91 - 495086
Smile Group: http://smile.deri.ie
Digital Enterprise Research Institute
   National University of Ireland, Galway
Institiúid Taighde na Fiontraíochta Digití
   Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh
Received on Monday, 14 July 2008 14:18:59 UTC

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