Sketch of a Reformulation of RDF

I’ve been mulling over this alternate way of thinking about RDF, one that is resource-oriented rather than triple-oriented. This is what I came up with:

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The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a framework for representing information in the Web. RDF has a simple data model that is easy for applications to process and manipulate. The data model is independent of any specific serialization syntax.

RDF provides information about resources through Resource Descriptions. A Resource Description consists of:

  1. A subject resource identified by a URI
  2. Zero or more relationships to other resources
  3. Zero or more properties having literal values
A relationship comprises a pair of URIs: the first URI denotes the type of relationship, the second identifies the related resource.

A property comprises a pairing of a URI with a literal value. The URI denotes the type of property. The  literal value is a string with an optional datatype (denoted by a further URI) or language tag (as defined by RFC-3066)

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Nothing technically different from the existing formulation (I omitted mention of blank nodes for brevity only – they would still be present) but perhaps a lot easier for developers used to resource-oriented systems to grok.

Note: in the original version of this post I used the term document-oriented, but switched to resource-oriented on the suggestion of  Niklas Lindström

Note2: this formulation bears a striking resemblance to the HAL linking scheme for JSON

Permalink: http://blog.iandavis.com/2011/11/sketch-of-a-reformulation-of-rdf/


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