August 09, 2003

Why RDF makes RSS easier

Since the days when my love affair with the web was at the embarrassed fumbling stage, Jon Udell has always been an inspiring read and, if the truth be told, something of a hero to me. So it's great to see him writing about a subject that's been close to my heart lately: RSS and RDF.

The exciting thing about Jon's latest posting is that he seems to get it:

What I hadn't fully appreciated, until just now, is the deep connection between RDF and namespace-mixing.

Yes, being able to mix different XML namespaces easily requires a higher-level data model, and RDF is it (or at least the best candidate we have today). Hallelujah!

I'm currently involved in a project that involves aggregating and querying a lot of RSS data. The only extension modules we can deal with in a fully generic way are the RDF-types ones designed to work with RSS 1.0. To deal with RSS 2.0 modules (which don't use an RDF structure, at least currently) we either have to manually add routines for each one to our code (a maintainability nightmare) or skip them all together (which means we lose data).

I seem to remember that the idea if making RSS 2.0 and its immediate predecessors non-RDF-like was to make programmers' lives simpler. Well it hasn't for us, not by a long shot. That's why we still use RSS 1.0 and all it's RDF goodness whenever we have a choice.

Posted by timo at August 9, 2003 10:28 PM | TrackBack
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