Kevin Clarke posted on his blog last week some thoughts on the recent ALA conference and a session on metadata interoperability. A discussion has ensued from this about RDF, with commentary by Leigh Dodds and a follow-up post by Kevin. I've learned a great deal from this exchange. I've always felt that I was missing something with RDF, that I needed a discussion on a much more practical level than those I'd been exposed to in order to understand what it could do for me better than the tools I already use. I've heard smart people I like and respect make comments like those by Kevin, Bill Moen, Dorothea Salo, and Roy Tennant quoted in these blog postings, and felt a bit of comfort that I wasn't the only one who felt left out. But it's not enough to have company in the "huh?" camp - I want to understand. I want to be able to make a reasoned argument against RDF, or embrace it for tasks it does better (in my world) than other things. Yet I've never felt like I can do either of those things. For now, I'll follow discussions such as this one in order to slowly absorb all the angles.
And all of this banter reminds me I need to learn RelaxNG and finally figure out what the deal is with topic maps. Anybody have a few extra hours in their day they're willing to send my way? :-)