[CURRENT CITES] A pair of decent RDF overviews.

I Find Karma (adam@cs.caltech.edu)
Thu, 4 Jun 1998 02:44:08 -0700

Sorry Tim, but here comes more XML and RDF yada yada yada stuff. The
following reviews are snarfed from Current Cites, Volume 9, Number 5.


The two RDF overviews cited below are the best ones I've seen so far.
Rohit, how was that Ora Lassila paper on RDF you reviewed for IEEE
Internet Computing?
-- Adam

Kelly, Brian. RDF Tools Briefing Sheet (May 1998)


This summary sheet on RDF tools and resources is extremely helpful for
anyone interesting in the Resource Description Framework, or RDF. RDF is
an emerging standard for encoding metadata using XML syntax. RDF is
likely to be an important standard for anyone creating, exchanging, or
using metadata. This document is extremely up-to-date as of this
writing, but as Kelly wisely notes, this is a "very volatile area." It
is available in Adobe Acrobat, Word 97, and HTML formats. For the HTML:


Our readers in the U.S. should select the option "shrink to fit" when
printing it from Adobe Acrobat, as it is formatted for A4 paper. It is
also designed to be distributed as a one-page, back-to-back, folded
handout. You would be hard-pressed to find any better RDF summary sheet
than this. -- RT

Miller, Eric. "An Introduction to the Resource Description Framework"
D-Lib Magazine (May 1998)


Let's not mince words. The Resource Description Framework, or RDF, is
not for the faint of heart. Anyone who has difficulty with the concept
of _labeled directed graphs_, yours truly included, will find themselves
wishing they had a dentist's appointment they could rush off to when
confronted with RDF syntax. But surely, you think, this preamble is
leading up to something more engaging than having one's teeth pulled,
right? Right. There _is_ a reason to endure such pain. If you've ever
wished for a mechanism by which you could encode, exchange, and use
structured metadata on the Web, then here it is. RDF is an emerging
solution to a variety of problems, from "cataloging" Web pages to
providing browsing of a Web site hierarchy and more. So pull up an
armchair, lean back, and open wide. The doctor is "in." -- RT

Kelly, Brian. What is XML? Ariadne 15 (May 1998)


The question posed by the article title is on the lips of many
individuals these days, and will be pondered by even more in the days to
come. Kelly's piece, written in the question-and-answer format
popularized by net "Frequently Asked Questions" documents (FAQs), is
aimed at answering only the most basic questions about XML. However,
those who know a bit more than the basics may be pleasantly surprised by
up-to-date pointers to some interesting papers from the Seventh
International World Wide Web Conference. -- RT

Stepanek, Marcia. "From Digits to Dust" Businessweek 3574 (April 20,
1998): 128. -- Librarians will be shocked! Shocked! To learn that
digital preservation is a vital issue. This article covers the growing
awareness among technology managers that digital information, much of
will never appear on paper, is subject to decay and degradation. In
many cases, the actual life span of CD-ROMs and other formats are no
longer than the life span of paper copies, despite the fact digital
copies are far more expensive to develop. Although this article is
very well written and informative, it falls into a very common trap of
business writers: a lack of research on the preservation initiatives
that originate in the library world. Maybe if digital preservation
values and strategies of librarians were more widely known, we
wouldn't be in such a pickle. This article makes it abundantly clear
that consideration of preservation issues must be folded into the
design process for digital formats. -- TH


We go deep, and we don't get no sleep, 'cause we'll be up all night
until the morning light.
-- Janet Jackson, "Go Deep"