Thursday, September 4, 2008

RDFa is a Proposed Recommendation!

After ages of hard work, the W3C has finally promoted the XHTML+RDFa language definition and the processing rules for RDFa to Proposed Recommendation status. This document represents a substantial advance for people who want to annotate their web pages with semantic markup:
  • It is completely compatible with existing popular user agents.
  • There are lots of implementations out there already that support extracting semantics marked up via RDFa.
  • It is already in use by the Yahoo! SearchMonkey engine.
  • Popular user agent plugins such as Operator and Fuzzbot already understand it.
  • While the mechanism is not explicitly defined (yet) it is possible to use the same markup in HTML and XHTML pages and get the same semantics.
  • Unlike microformats, the idiom for annotating your content does not conflict with the normal semantics of (X)HTML (e.g., the class attribute, the title attribute, and abbr).
Why would you want to use RDFa? For the same reason you want to use microformats. Because you care about machines understanding what is on your page, not just humans.

For lots more information on how to start using RDFa right now, see the rdfa.info web site.

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