Resource Description Framework: Metadata för Internet

Ulf Kronman, John Parnefjord


For quite some time now, there has been a need for more organized descriptions of the information resources on the Internet. Several standards for metadata have been developed but not reached a large group of users since They have been too limited or too specialized.

During 1999 the Web Consortium W3C has developed the Resource Description Framework – RDF - as a standardized framework for metadata on the Internet. RDF is based on the Extensible Markup Language - XML - and is destined to be the unified standard for metadata on the Internet in the near future. RDF is designed to be an expandable framework where several systems of metadata can coexist and be used to describe the same resource at the same time. In RDF these metadata systems are called schemas. Schemas can be developed locally without any central coordination and control as long as they follow the RDF specification. The modularity of RDF will probably ensure the future of the metadata standard Dublin Core, as RDF permits the addition of local, specialized schemas, without any changes having to be made in the Dublin Core element set. RDF is still immature. Tools for production and interpretation of RDF have yet to be developed before it can become a working standard. For organizations that are about to develop their own systems for metadata still, it is recommendable to start using RDF as soon as possible.

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