July 25, 2003
"Practical RDF": Bring Meaning and Order to Complex Web Data
Sebastopol, CA--The Web's simplicity was a key factor in its rapid
adoption. But as it grows ever larger and more complex, that simplicity
has begun to hinder our ability to make intelligent use of the vast
store of data on the Web. In response to that challenge, the World Wide
Web Consortium (W3C) has spearheaded an effort to create an extension
of the Web that brings meaning and order to web data. It's called the
Semantic Web, and at its core is the Resource Description Framework
(RDF), an application of XML.
While the Semantic Web is still more a concept than a reality, RDF,
which provides the tools and syntax to structure complex web data, is
being used right now in an increasing number of business applications.
Practical RDF (Shelley Powers, US $39.95) explains how to use RDF
with information from library catalogs and worldwide directories to
bioinformatics, Mozilla internal data structures, and knowledge bases
for artificial intelligence projects.
"Much of RDF is associated with some relatively esoteric efforts, but
my book focuses more on the practical aspects of the RDF specification
and the associated technologies," said author Shelley Powers. "In fact,
I think RDF is a sleeper specification, slowly but surely building an
audience of great tool makers. This little-known spec is poised to come
into its own."
RDF comes with a reputation for complexity and a daunting set of World
Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specifications. That's a shame, because it's
quite useful for solving a very common set of programming problems.
"Practical RDF" breaks through this reputation and helps you
understand, master, and implement RDF solutions. The book 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 often-obscure
specifications, giving you tools to apply RDF successfully in your own
The first part of the book focuses on those 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
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.
ISBN 0-596-00263-7, 350 pages, $39.95 US, $61.95 CA, 28.50 UK
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