[foaf-dev] RDF/RDFa now part of Drupal core

Peter Williams pwilliams at rapattoni.com
Fri Oct 23 04:45:13 CEST 2009

So here is very a positive note from my own experience today - occurring SIMPLY as a result of Stephane's memo.

Ive struggled to convince folks in my industry about rdf. (My industry is US realty - distributing lots of realty listings about houses, supporting a 22 trillion dollar annual market in conveying residential property). It was just hard to even talk about rdf technology and web-style data linking in general. The main hurdle was fear - that it was all too advanced, and the average programmer could not grasp it. There came a point where I dared not utter the words: inference and ontology.

That was overcome today with the Drupal story - expressed as content management. Replacing the term ontology with data dictionary (1970s term) and the term inference with data processing (1960s term), the deed was finally done.

Oh, you mean we no longer have to screen scrape the HTML to get to the underlying data? Oh. Ok. We get it (rdf). So, we just parse the file now, to process it. Oh! And the source can use any tags one likes? with metadata mappings based on some metadata rule file?. And, we can expose it anew after processing, with our own tags? Ah.....  So what's the fuss you've been making about rdf, Peter? Seems obvious. Just do it.

What a change (due to RDF and the right delivery vehicle).

Now make Google Profiles export a Foaf file for a half billion users, I think this will all reach the mass breakout point.

From: Peter Williams
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 11:45 AM
To: 'Stephane Corlosquet'; foaf-dev at lists.foaf-project.org
Subject: RE: [foaf-dev] RDF/RDFa now part of Drupal core

Be helpful if there was a drupal "consumer" plugin, allowing a convincing demo. i.e. One drupal site pulls pages on an RSS feed from another, parsing the RDFa on each page in the feed, and generates new HTML bounced on its own RDFS data source merging (say). Perhaps the consumer then mints its own RSS feed of its _re-generated_ pages.

From: foaf-dev-bounces at lists.foaf-project.org [mailto:foaf-dev-bounces at lists.foaf-project.org] On Behalf Of Stephane Corlosquet
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 11:03 AM
To: semantic-web at w3.org; RDFa mailing list; sioc-dev at googlegroups.com; foaf-dev at lists.foaf-project.org
Subject: [foaf-dev] RDF/RDFa now part of Drupal core


After several months of research, coding, sprints and patch reviews, the main RDF patch has been committed to Drupal core! (Thanks Dries!) This introduces a basic RDF API which maps the Drupal data structure to RDF. These mappings are then automatically exported as RDFa throughout the site.

To give you a sneak preview of the code it generates, I've put up a Drupal 7 site at http://drupalrdf.openspring.net/ for testing purposes. We still have some bugs to fix but the bulk of it is working. I'm hoping to get feedback from the RDF community about the RDFa it generates. Please try it with your favorite RDFa parser and report any bug you encounter. You will find some dummy RDF properties/classes sometimes but we'll fix them soon. Note that the RDF mappings are fairly independent from the the actual API since the mapping definitions are centralized [2] and are not hardcoded in the HTML (hereby allowing exports in other RDF serialization formats).

Some examples:
A blog post with comments http://drupalrdf.openspring.net/node/3
Forum page http://drupalrdf.openspring.net/node/4
Static page http://drupalrdf.openspring.net/about

Drupal 7 is still in development phase. The first beta releases should come out in the coming months, and the final release in the new year. Our priority is to fix all remaining bugs [3] and then agree on the best mappings which will come pre-installed in core. I will send more emails on specific issues, so if you're interested make sure to subscribe to foaf-dev at lists.foaf-project.org<mailto:foaf-dev at lists.foaf-project.org>, sioc-dev at googlegroups.com<mailto:sioc-dev at googlegroups.com> and public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf at w3.org<mailto:public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf at w3.org>.

For those attending ISWC next week, I'll present the research work which was used to build RDF in Drupal core, see paper [4]. See you on Tuesday afternoon in the Semantic Web In Use Track!


[1] RDF mapping API http://api.drupal.org/api/function/hook_rdf_mapping/7
[2] Open issues http://drupal.org/project/issues/search/drupal?status[]=Open&issue_tags=RDF<http://drupal.org/project/issues/search/drupal?status%5b%5d=Open&issue_tags=RDF>
[3] Report an issue http://drupal.org/project/issues/drupal
[4] Produce and Consume Linked Data with Drupal! http://openspring.net/sites/openspring.net/files/corl-etal-2009iswc.pdf
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