RDF provides a way to make statements that applications can more easily process. An application cannot actually "understand" such statements, as noted already, any more than a database system "understands" terms like "employee" or "salary" in processing a query like SELECT NAME FROM EMPLOYEE WHERE SALARY > 35000. However, if an application is appropriately written, it can deal with RDF statements in a way that makes it seem like it does understand them, just as a database system and its applications can do useful work in processing employee and payroll information without understanding "employee" and "payroll". For example, a user could search the Web for all book reviews and create an average rating for each book. Then, the user could put that information back on the Web. Another Web site could take that list of book rating averages and create a "Top Ten Highest Rated Books" page. Here, the availability and use of a shared vocabulary about ratings, and a shared group of URIrefs identifying the books they apply to, allows individuals to build a mutually-understood and increasingly-powerful (as additional contributions are made) "information base" about books on the Web. The same principle applies to the vast amounts of information that people create about thousands of subjects every day on the Web.

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A quote saved on Feb. 26, 2013.


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