Sam Ruby posts a note to a thread on the Apache GUMP email list with several questions about RDF. Stefano Mazzocchi has started answering, but others might be interested in chiming in, either at the list, or Sam’s.


Nope nope Nah ah Nope

Speaking of Planet RDF, I spotted a link to Jamie Pitts posting about the new DropCash – a fundraising organization effort using TypeKey and PayPal.

Better not come back to this page if you use DropCash. No siree. If my page detects that you’re using a single sign-on proprietary, centralized service to manage your money collection, a hand will reach out of the page and slap you silly.

You be warned, now. I is in Missouri. We take these things seriously.


RDF Bees

Did you know that when you search on the term “RDF weblog” in Google, this site is the first result? Does this mean I hold the fate of RDF and weblogging in my fragile little hands? Well, let’s see if I can do something with all that power.

RDF, or should I say RDF and OWL (since the two ran off to Vegas and got married a while back) are seen as the tools for the Semantic Web. Rather fine and dandy, but until that brilliant bit of lightning hits us from the sky, we’ll see if we can’t make the pampered little darlings put in a fair day’s work.

If interest in RDF is not waning, as I was assured in my last post, then where are the places one can find out information about what’s happening? I pulled my own small list together:

  • Dave Beckett’s Resource Description Framework page, needs to be on any list for RDF resources, though I’m not sure all or even most of the real world applications of RDF are appearing in the page. However, it is a good resource for keeping up with the APIs, editors, tools, specs, and some of the more scientific work.
  • Though RDFWeb focuses on FOAF, FOAF is it; where it’s happening right now when it comes to RDF.
  • The RDF weblog aggregator Planet RDF is really the site that should own ‘RDF and weblog’. It pulls together entries from various RDF interest weblogs, including yours truly, into one spot. If anything can get the word of RDF as ‘real stuff’ out into the world, I think weblogs writing about ongoing efforts is the trick; using online or syndication feed aggregators such as Planet RDF to pull it all together into one easily accessible location.
  • Once upon a time there was an RDF Interest group, but the W3C replaced it with the Semantic Web interest group. That’s because to the W3C, RDF and OWL are for the Semantic Web. Not the semantic web, which is really just people using RDF and OWL, a little bit here, and a little bit there to do interesting stuff (and someday all the bits will be all grow’d up and become Semantic Web). But still – always good to keep up with the eggheads. (Besides, what’s not to like about a group that uses words like ’smushing’?)
  • O’Reilly’s is another resource, though the site focuses on all things XML not just RDF/OWL stuff. Still, it’s a decent resource.

So far, that’s what I have for good, centralized locations of information about what’s happening with RDF. A start, but incomplete.

In the comments to the last post, several commercial uses of RDF were mentioned; what I would like to see is some form of aggregation of RDF/OWL commercial application efforts. These are the ones that are hard to find; yet these are the spreaders of the meme – the bees, if you will, in the semantic web orchard, with bits and pieces of RDF/OWL stuck to their little furry bodies as they flit about, from venture capitalist to venture capitalist.

Critters outdoors Photography

Resigned forests

By 6:30 it had cooled enough to go walking and I went to my favorite path. I thought I would see the deer, but wasn’t expecting to see them right at the start of the walk: the mother and her twins I’ve seen so much over the summer. This time I grabbed my camera to take pictures, but it was too dark to get much of a shot.

The forest is in that end of summer green, where the leaves hang heavy in resignation, and even the birds fall silent, exhausted. If I were to write a story and wanted a scene thick with meaning, I would pick dusk in a late summer forest after a heavy rain.

Towards the end of the walk, I was amazed to find a fawn still sporting spots eating leaves by the side of the trail. She came close enough for me to get a passable photo before walking over by a tree and lying down. Her mother was no where to be seen.


The RDF Glass Ceiling

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

After the book had been out for a while, I took a longish break from most RDF work, being both tired and more than a bit burned out re-writing the book through variations of the specs. Probably not as tired as the RDF specification authors, but tired.

When I started back up, I immediately went out to Dave Beckett’s RDF Resource page to see what new goodies have appeared based on the final release of the RDF specifications this last Spring. I was surprised to see that aside from a small flurry of activity related to RDF editors, there hasn’t been that many new projects associated with RDF.

I’ve also been following Danny Ayers weblog because if anyone keeps up with RDF work, it’s Danny. Of course, I also read his pages for the cat photos, too.

Danny has been making announcements of new work, such as the new version of RAP (RDF API for PHP). But other than some experimental stuff with RDF and groups, discussions about FOAF, Mozilla, and Edd Dumbill’s DOAP, there hasn’t been much applied use of RDF.

In fact, the earlier enthusiasm for RDF in 2001 and 2002 seems to have flickered in 2003, and is now drastically waning in 2004.

Where’s the real world use of RDF? Is it to be doomed to isolated proprietary applications, a few simple feeds, escoteric experimentation and endless debate, like so many other great ideas that started in R & D departments?