Chapter 6. Creating an RDF Vocabulary

Unlike other W3C specifications, such as HTML, you're not going to see RDF documents consisting solely of the elements that have been described in Chapter 3 through Chapter 5. Yes, there is a defined syntax for RDF, as reviewed in Chapter 3 and Chapter 4, and there is an RDF Schema, explored in Chapter 5. However, RDF isn't used to model business-specific resources directly because there are no domain-specific elements within the specification. Instead, RDF creates domain-specific vocabularies that are then used to model the resources, with an added advantage of having access to RDF-specific parsers and automated processes.

What kinds of vocabularies can be created? A better question is: what kinds of business resources can be described using a syntax/schema such as RDF? And the answer is: any business resource. The number of possible vocabularies is limitless, constrained only by each industry's need for interoperable vocabularies.

In this chapter you'll have a chance to see how a vocabulary is created and validated against the RDF syntax and schema. Once the elements for the vocabulary are defined, they'll then be compared against an existing web resource domain vocabulary, the Dublin Core, to look for matches.

First, though, let's take a closer look at what I mean when I say "RDF Vocabulary."