Wednesday, July 06, 2005

So what's up with RDF?

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? :-)


Dorothea said...

No, no extra hours, but I do have some good topic maps links.

I also did a brief intro myself after learning more about topic maps at last year's Extreme Markup conference.

Jenn Riley said...

Thanks! These look like great places to start. I think my approach now needs to be really taking some time to look at them together with my full attention. Too often I scan things like this while traveling or thinking about something else, and then I don't get their full effect. Wish me luck!