Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Future of RDF

At the end of June, immediately after SemTech, I'll be attending the W3C RDF Next Step Workshop. This workshop has been set up with the goal of gathering feedback from the Semantic Web community to determine if (and how) RDF should evolve in the future. I'll be presenting two papers with David Wood which I hope will generate good discussions...(To review the papers or for more information on the workshop, go to NextStepWorkshop.)

The first paper I'm presenting will show a new RESTful RDF Store API supporting named queries and change isolation. (I blogged about this earlier this year.) This proposed API would combine basic CRUD operations over RDF constructs (graphs, services and queries) and mandate RDF descriptions of services. With the ability to modify an RDF store's state in SPARQL 1.1 comes the challenge of managing store versions and the need to manage them (and their differences) over HTTP.

The other paper is a proposed alternative handling of rdf:List in SPARQL. The way we currently deal with ordered collections in RDF, whether through tools or in SPARQL, is so difficult that it limits adoption of RDF. So much of data retrieval, which is currently dominated on the Web by XML, includes the notion of ordered collections - RDF must align the RDF representation with the conceptual notion of ordered collections if it has a chance of making inroads into already established networks.

Where do you think RDF needs to go in the future? Does it need to change if it is going to stay viable?

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