At the World Wide Web Consortium which is also known as the W3C, there are a number of specifications of which one of those is that of RDF. RDF stands for Resource Description Framework and it was developed as a metadata but it has since its development, become used more specifically as a method for which a conceptual description is made. This metadata is basically information pertaining to various resources on the web for which a particular syntax is derived from.
In all simplicity, for those who are use to dealing with data classes, there are no major differences between RDF and them. In concept it is used as a means of making a statement pertaining to web resources. When using RDF though, it is done as a subject-predicate-object model in which subject relates to the particular web resource, the predicate is a particular aspect or trait of that resource and it defines the relationship that exists between the subject and the object in question.
It was the W3C's Semantic Web that proposed RDF as it was suggested it would play an important role in the evolution of the continuous and ongoing development of the web. The belief is that the next evolutionary step is the automation of software programs that are capable of storing information as well as exchanging it through various nodes of the web in a more efficient manner. The concept of course is that of a semantic World Wide Web.
It is most properly suited in the use of knowledge based models in the same manner in which a relational database operates, just without the database. This can be seen in the development of OWL and other similar conceptual development languages and cores models.
Before the development of RDF, the W3C made use of the MCF which was by all means the closest relative technically speaking. MCF was a development by Ramanathan V. Guha who at the time of development was working at the Apple Computer Company. After moving later on to Netscape, with the help of Tim Bray, he was able to continue on with the development with the help of ideas obtained from PICS and the Dublin W3C core community. It was the development of MCF originally that would eventually lead to the development of RDF.
It would be back in 1999 that the W3C would officially specify the RDF data model with the release of its XML syntax and later would have the official specifications released in 2004. However, since its 1999 inception there has yet to be any major implementations of RDF so as a result it has gone most of this time without any major updates to the core.
Original Authors: Nick
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 04/03/2009