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RDF is the Resource Description Framework. It is a way of organizing multiple, different internet resources. It describes what they are (URL, mailbox, mail message, newsgroup, etc), and how they relate to each other. Also, one RDF can dynamically update another RDF over a network.

Resource Description Framework

RDF is a general way of describing data that will give more power to applications that use that data. This is done by reducing all collections into nuggets of information called triples. It is intended for situations where information needs to displayed and processed by an application. RDF was originally based on identifying things using Web identifiers called URI's (Uniform Resource Identifiers). It can now use URI, literal, or blanks.

Essentially it is a universal format used for data on the Internet and allows structured and semi-structured data to be mixed, shared and exported across different applications RDF allows interoperability across applications so you can import things like your bank statement into your accounting software.


  • Resource Description Framework on
  • Wikipedia Entry on RDF
  • RDF in Fifty Words Or Less - A quick description, with example, of RDF
  • W3C's RDF Concepts and Abstract Syntax


Example based on

There is an RDF "bookmark" folder. It is called Inbox. When you open that folder, RDF generates a list of bookmarks to email messages. Each of those messages are based on real, actual messages sitting in an inbox on another system.

The folder is actually a pointer to a CGI script that contains more RDF. The RDF in there fetches all new messages, and summarizes them. It turns them into XML, and feeds it back to the original RDF "inbox" folder. The folder recieves that data, and its own RDF transforms it into a bunch of bookmarks under the initial inbox folder.


"The title of this resource is 'Tony Benn'"

        <rdf:Description rdf:about="">
                <dc:title>Tony Benn</dc:title>

code example from wikipedia



  • Mozilla Developer's Newsgroup for RDF
  • Netscape's Public Mozilla channel for RDF:
  • W3C Semantic Web Interest Group - formerly the RDF Interest Group, a public forum