If you come here expecting to hear only good about RDF or any of it’s vocabularies and associated technologies, then you will be disappointed.
The new specifications for RDF, the model and its serialization syntax, are barely out of the gate, and if you think that now we should be nothing but complimentary about it — to give the growing baby a chance to stand on its own feet — then you’re going to be disappointed in what I’ll write here.
I am a huge fan of RDF, and because of this, I want it to be the best. This means I want it to be strong enough that it doesn’t need my ‘protection’ to be successful. I don’t want to have to defend RDF — I want its defense to be self-evident to all but the most determinedly blind opponents.
If the only people who criticize RDF are those who hate it, then the model, the associated syntax, and the tools based on it are never going to become tempered, to become strong — to improve, to grow, and to mature. All that will happen is that a shell of defensiveness will grow around it, prickly as a pissed off porcupine and once this occurs, the technology will never be able to make it on its own. Too many politics, too much religion holding it down.
RDF and the associated tools, the Semantic Web platform for which it was groomed, and yes, even the fans of RDF, need to look closely and critically at all we do with this technology and expect the best from our efforts. More, we must not hesitate to say, “This isn’t working, that could be better” and question decisions and implementations, assumptions, and givens. Most of all we must question assumptions and givens.
Other internet technology supporters have gone through this critical self-analysis period, including those who support HTML, XML, web services, DNS, and so on. Each technology has come away better for this effort.
No, if you come here only expecting to hear a Greek Chorus in praise of RDF, the current and future efforts, the tools and the technologies, you’ll be disappointed. But if you come here with an open mind and realistic expectations, I think you’ll be satisfied. At a minimum, you won’t be surprised.