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RDF

I’ve just finished reading Practical RDF for work. My conclusions:

  • RDF/XML makes my brain hurt.
  • RDF still seems a way off being “practical.” I’m with Tim Bray on this one.
  • Some of the frameworks for RDF still look pretty cool. I had a quick play with the Python rdflib and was quite surprised at how easy it was. Jena and Redland also look good.
  • Ontologies seem like a good idea, in the same way that DTD’s (well, RelaxNG+schematron for preference) are a good idea for plain XML. But they’re still way over my head. I’ll have to go back and reread that bit of the book when I’ve got a less fuzzy head.
  • Mozilla’s use of RDF to build treeviews is pretty cool. I must play with that.

On the whole, I’ve learned a bit about how it works, and I can definitely see how it would be useful for some of the things we do at work with a relational database. But it’s a large rearchitecting to do so. Also, the book has let me know how much more I have to explore once I’ve put a bit of groundwork into understanding the basics.

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