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"Practical RDF": Bring Meaning and Order to Complex Web Data

July 25, 2003

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 projects.

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 RDF/XML.

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.

Additional Resources:

Practical RDF
Shelley Powers
ISBN 0-596-00263-7, 350 pages, $39.95 US, $61.95 CA, 28.50 UK
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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