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Monday, February 15, 2010

Semantic Web: an alternative for RDFa

A few years ago I thought that XHTML would eventually be widely used but when the W3C decided to standardize on HTML5 (which I love for non Semantic Web reasons), that may have been the beginning of the end for RDFa because RDFa is an XML application.

I believe that a better alternative in a HTML5 world is to keep RDF separate from web pages but have a clear set of rules for finding RDF data files that correspond to web pages (either static or generated). One rule might be to look for a file named index.rdf for top level domain URLs; for example, see if exists for For a URL like look for or

Although CMS support (e.g., Drupal) for RDFa and helper libraries like the RDFa Rails plugin might make it fairly easy for some web sites to provide RDFa, I think that we need something simpler that might be adopted by more web sites.

I am writing an open source tool (that will be an example program in the Semantic Web book I am writing) that will generate RDF data from web pages. I'll post a link when the code is ready.