Re: RDFa vs RDF/XML and content negotiation


It will certainly not surprise you that I'd suggest to go for (technically
speaking) linked data with RDFa. However, we have sort of started to collect
a checklist you might want to review [1].

> Anyone care to argue for one approach or the other?  I suppose the answer may
> well be "it depends" :-)  But if so, what does it depend on?

Can depend, in my experience, for example on:

 + granularity (fine-grained, multidimensional statistical data vs. DC
author/title thing)
 + dynamics (is it a one-shot or does the data change with time like on a
blog, etc.)



Dr. Michael Hausenblas
LiDRC - Linked Data Research Centre
DERI - Digital Enterprise Research Institute
NUIG - National University of Ireland, Galway
Ireland, Europe
Tel. +353 91 495730

> From: <>
> Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 13:09:32 +0200
> To: Linked Data community <>
> Subject: RDFa vs RDF/XML and content negotiation
> Resent-From: Linked Data community <>
> Resent-Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 11:45:59 +0000
> I've been trying to weigh up the pros and cons of these two approaches to
> understand more clearly when you might want to use each.  I hope that the list
> members will be able to provide me with the benefit of their experience and
> insight!
> So the situation is that I have some information on a topic and I want to make
> it available both in machine readable form and in human readable form, for
> example a company wanting to publish information on its products, or a
> government department wanting to publish some statistics.
> I can either: 
> 1) include 'human' and 'machine' representations in the same web page using
> RDFa
> 2) have an HTML representation and a separate RDF/XML representation (or N3 or
> whatever) and decide which to provide via HTTP content negotiation.
> So which should I use? I suppose it depends on how the information will be
> produced, maintained and consumed.  Some generic requirements/wishes:
> - I only want to have one place where the data is managed.
> - I want people to be able to browse around a nicely formatted representation
> of the information, ie a regular web page, probably incorporating all sorts of
> other stuff as well as the data itself.
> - I don't want to type lots of XHTML or XML.
> - I want the data to be found and used by search engines and aggregators.
> The approach presented by Halb, Raimond and Hausenblas (
> ata.pdf) seems attractive: to summarise crudely, auto-generate some RDFa from
> your database, but provide an RDF/XML dump too.
> On the other hand I find that RDFa leads to rather messy markup - I prefer the
> 'cleanliness' of the separate representations.
> For any non-trivial amount of data, then we will need a templating engine of
> some sort for either approach.  I suppose what may tip the balance is that
> Yahoo and Google are starting to make use of RDFa, but AFAIK they are not
> (yet) doing anything with "classic" content-negotiated linked data.
> Anyone care to argue for one approach or the other?  I suppose the answer may
> well be "it depends" :-)  But if so, what does it depend on?
> Thanks in advance
> Bill Roberts

Received on Tuesday, 23 June 2009 13:00:23 UTC