W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > April 2002

Treating Ordinary XML as RDF

From: Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>
Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 09:52:32 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: Enrico Silterra <catluver67@yahoo.com>
Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
At 10:43 AM 4/7/02 -0700, Enrico Silterra wrote:

>I am sure this is a silly question, but,
>Let's say, that I have an xml document, and I want to
>interpret this document as RDF -- can I just wrap it
>in rdf:RDF, declare a default name space, and, have
>the doc be rdf ?

Not silly, but...

I think that most XML document contents can be designed to be 
RDF-compatible, but not every XML document satisfies the RDF 
form.  Roughly, the RDF graph model needs to be matched by a "striping" of 
the RDF -- see <http://www.w3.org/2001/10/stripes/>.

As well as the striped syntax, it may also be necessary to make some use of 
the RDF attributes rdf:about, rdf:ID and/or rdf:resource to fully capture 
the desired graph.  This tends to make the document format less like 
"ordinary" XML, and means that you may need to be more explicit about use 
of namespaces.

I have been thinking that an approach of designing XML formats to be RDF 
compatible may be a good way to get RDF-compatible data more widely 
deployed on the web, because the particular applicationm for which it is 
designed can process it using well-established XML processing tools, but 
the (RDF graph) information contained in it can be accessible to generic 
RDF tools.  An example of this approach is a proposal I have made for 
representing email message headers and content in RDF: 


Graham Klyne
Received on Monday, 8 April 2002 05:02:19 UTC

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