RDF is meant to solve the problem of meaningfully publishing data (not just documents) on the World Wide Web. Beyond that, do what you want. More specifically, when you crawl and/or aggregate data from the World Wide Web, you don’t have to keep the RDF data as triples in your system. It is no longer on the global stage of the World Wide Web; rather, it is now in your system where you are king. So optimize away! Store it or process it however you like! Relational databases? Sure! Rewrite URIs as shorter terms? Whatever floats your boat! Ignore the explicit semantics and treat it like an unlabeled graph? I wouldn’t recommend it, but you’re the king! Do whatever it takes to meet your use case, and if your use case has something to do with RDF data, then fine, leave it as triples if you want. My point is, it’s not necessarily “RDF all the way down,” but it is “RDF at the top” where “top” is the place of publication, the World Wide Web. The universal naming mechanism of URIs and the generic data model enables data publishers to get data out there in a way that can be explicitly understood by machines (for example, when I say “Beast is furry,” am I talking about Mark Zuckerberg’s dog or the fictional X-Man Dr. Henry Philip “Hank” McCoy?), but as the creator of that machine, it’s up to you how to utilize those explicit semantics.

« Triples all the way down »

A quote saved on Feb. 26, 2013.


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