By David Peterson

RDFa is now a W3C Recommendation

By David Peterson

It has been many years since the original idea was proposed (back in 2004) but RDFa is now a full fledged citizen of the W3C. It reached Recommendation status on 14th of Oct. The W3C uses the word recommendation, but essentially it means standard to the rest of us :)

The final hurdle has now been crossed and there is no longer any need to wait. So drop whatever you are doing and head on over to the primer. Have a quick read and then check out the wiki.

There is a lot of work yet to be done in the educational materials on RDFa. The concentration has for so long been in getting the spec in order that the examples and howtos have suffered.

I think this situation will change rapidly as there will be a lot more interest and with that comes increased traffic and hopefully more tutorials. Dries Buytaert (of Drupal fame) has just posted a wonderful road map for the Semantic Web in Drupal 7. It talks about the future of search and how quickly and painlessly any Drupal site will automatically participate.

Here is a list of some examples that should help you out:

SearchMonkey recommends the use of these RDF vocabularies:

  • Anonymous

    So what is better Microformats or RDFa? What should use?

  • Definitely exciting! I hadn’t realized RDFa was so far along the standards track, but it’s nice to see that happen. The anonymous comment above asks a good question, though. RDFa or Microformats? If I’m not mistaken, it is possible to use both, correct? Microformats relies on overloading (X)HTML class attributes and RDFa uses its own attributes, so theoretically they shouldn’t conflict with one another.

    Since RDFa is the (scalable) standard I would imagine it makes more sense to start replacing microformats with them, but its microformats that currently have the more widespread implementation. So, both?

  • @Anonymous, @Meitar the RDFa community does not want to re-invent the wheel. It is pretty well accepted that microformats and RDFa can and should be used together. Current best practice is to use microformats in areas that they are good at. As soon as you need more extensibility (more vocabs, grouping, etc) use RDFa.

    The real beauty of them both is that all semantic extractors convert both formats to Semantic Web triples. Essentially any site that is using microformats now is a fully participating Semantic Web citzen! This is cool. Of course RDFa offers additional power and the ability to better describe your objects.

    So it is a win win situation.

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