Cover image for Practical RDF
Practical RDF
Powers, Shelley.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Beijing ; Cambridge : O'Reilly, [2003]

Physical Description:
xv, 331 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QA76.76.H94 P695 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a structure for describing and interchanging metadata on the Web--anything from library catalogs and worldwide directories to bioinformatics, Mozilla internal data structures, and knowledge bases for artificial intelligence projects. RDF provides a consistent framework and syntax for describing and querying data, making it possible to share website descriptions more easily. RDF's capabilities, however, have long been shrouded by its reputation for complexity and a difficult family of specifications. Practical RDF breaks through this reputation with immediate and solvable problems to help you understand, master, and implement RDF solutions. Practical RDF explains RDF from the ground up, providing real-world examples and descriptions of how the technology is being used in applications like Mozilla, FOAF, and Chandler, as well as infrastructure you can use to build your own applications. This book cuts to the heart of the W3C's often obscure specifications, giving you tools to apply RDF successfully in your own projects.The first part of the book focuses on the RDF specifications. After an introduction to RDF, the book covers the RDF specification documents themselves, including RDF Semantics and Concepts and Abstract Model specifications, RDF constructs, and the RDF Schema. The second section focuses on programming language support, and the tools and utilities that allow developers to review, edit, parse, store, and manipulate RDF/XML. Subsequent sections focus on RDF's data roots, programming and framework support, and practical implementation and use of RDF and RDF/XML.If you want to know how to apply RDF to information processing, Practical RDF is for you. Whether your interests lie in large-scale information aggregation and analysis or in smaller-scale projects like weblog syndication, this book will provide you with a solid foundation for working with RDF.

Author Notes

Shelley Powers is an independent contractor, currently living in St. Louis, who specializes in technology architecture and software development. She's authored several computer books, including Developing ASP Components, Unix Power Tools 3rd edition, Essential Blogging, and Practical RDF. In addition, Shelley has also written several articles related primarily to web technology, many for O'Reilly. Shelley's web site network is at , and her weblog is Burningbird, at .

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
1. RDF: An Introductionp. 1
The Semantic Web and RDF: A Brief Historyp. 1
The Specificationsp. 3
When to Use and Not Use RDFp. 4
Some Uses of RDF/XMLp. 8
Related Technologiesp. 12
Going Forwardp. 12
2. RDF: Heart and Soulp. 14
The Search for Knowledgep. 15
The RDF Triplep. 16
The Basic RDF Data Model and the RDF Graphp. 19
URIsp. 21
RDF Serialization: N3 and N-Triplesp. 22
Talking RDF: Lingo and Vocabularyp. 25
3. The Basic Elements Within the RDF/XML Syntaxp. 29
Serializing RDF to XMLp. 30
RDF Blank Nodesp. 41
URI Referencesp. 43
Representing Structured Data with rdf:valuep. 46
The rdf:type Propertyp. 47
RDF/XML Shortcutsp. 49
More on RDF Data Typesp. 53
RDF/XML: Separate Documents or Embedded Blocksp. 54
4. Specialized RDF Relationships: Reification, Containers, and Collectionsp. 57
Containersp. 57
Collectionsp. 65
Reification: The RDF Big Uglyp. 67
5. Important Concepts from the W3C RDF Vocabulary/Schemap. 83
RDF Vocabulary: Describing the Datap. 84
Core RDF Schema Elementsp. 87
Refining RDF Vocabularies with Constraintsp. 95
RDF Schema Alternativesp. 97
6. Creating an RDF Vocabularyp. 100
How RDF Vocabularies Differ from XML Vocabulariesp. 100
Defining the Vocabulary: Business and Scopep. 101
Defining the Vocabulary: Elementsp. 103
Formalizing the Vocabulary with RDFSp. 118
Integrating the Dublin Corep. 120
7. Editing, Parsing, and Browsing RDF/XMLp. 132
BrownSaucep. 132
Parsersp. 135
Editorsp. 142
8. Jena: RDF in Javap. 149
Overview of the Classesp. 149
Creating and Serializing an RDF Modelp. 151
Parsing and Querying an RDF Documentp. 164
In-Memory Versus Persistent Model Storagep. 168
9. RDF and Perl, PHP, and Pythonp. 172
RDF/XML and Perlp. 173
RDF API for PHPp. 183
RDF and Python: RDFLibp. 187
10. Querying RDF: RDF as Datap. 192
RDF and the Relational Data Modelp. 192
Roots: rdfDB QLp. 193
Inkling and SquishQLp. 194
RDQLp. 197
Sesamep. 210
11. A Brief Look at Additional RDF Application Environmentsp. 215
RDF and C#p. 215
Wilbur--RDF API CLOSp. 218
Overview of Redland--a Multilanguage-Based RDF Frameworkp. 218
Redfootp. 225
12. Ontologies: RDF Business Modelsp. 228
Why Ontology?p. 229
Brief History of the Ontology Movementp. 229
OWL Use Cases and Requirementsp. 231
OWL Specificationsp. 232
Basic Constructs of OWLp. 235
Bits of Knowledge: More Complex OWL Constructsp. 239
The Complementary Nature of RDF and OWLp. 247
Ontology Tools: Editorsp. 248
13. Subscription and Aggregation with RSSp. 253
RSS: Quick Historyp. 253
RSS 1.0: A Quick Introductionp. 254
A Detailed Look at the Specificationp. 256
Extending the Specification Through Modulesp. 263
The RSS Modulesp. 264
RSS Aggregatorsp. 268
Creating Your Own RSS Contentp. 276
Build Your Own RSS Consumerp. 278
Merging RDF/RSS Filesp. 280
14. A World of Uses: Noncommercial Applications Based on RDFp. 286
Mozillap. 286
Creative Commons Licensep. 295
MIT's DSpace System Documentationp. 297
FOAF: Friend-of-a-Friendp. 298
15. A World of Uses: Commercial Uses of RDF/XMLp. 302
Chandler: RDF Within an Open Source PIMp. 303
RDF Gateway, a Commercial RDF Databasep. 304
Siderean Software's Seamarkp. 309
Plugged In Software's Tucana Knowledge Storep. 312
RDF and Adobe: XMPp. 314
What's It All Mean?p. 317
Indexp. 319