RDFa Fading Away in EPUB3 Standard

By   /  August 22, 2011  /  No Comments

To follow up our story last week about the upcoming EPUB3 standard, for which International Digital Publishing Forum membership comments were due in by today, it appears that the updates “are moving the spec even further from any apparent support/use of RDFa.” That’s according to Eric Freese, solutions architect at digital publishing solutions vendor Aptara and member of the IDPF trade and standards organization.

One of the reasons RDFa support has been in question was that there were some concerns regarding what the future holds for RDFa 1.1. The timeline for RDFa 1.1 puts January 2012 as the date for the publication of all final documents. Issues such as its side-by-side evolution with microdata structured data markup schemes such as Google, Bing and Yahoo’s schema.org collaboration are still being reviewed, for example.

“It’s a combination of not wanting to include something where the direction is so unpredictable,” Freese says in an email to The Semantic Web Blog. “We also did not specifically architect RDF triple support into the metadata and don’t want to give the appearance of such support by using attribute names that are also used in RDFa (such as ‘@about’).  At some point I think we’ll see these come together a bit more formally, but just not now.”

What does the move away from RDFa mean for the present? As Freese explains, “this just means that EPUB3 will be using some of its own metadata definition constructs which in theory could be turned into triples through GRDDL or some other mechanism.”

Attendees at the upcoming Semantic Web Media Summit in NYC will have a chance to explore more about how semantic web technologies are or will impact publishing companies.

About the author

Jennifer Zaino is a New York-based freelance writer specializing in business and technology journalism. She has been an executive editor at leading technology publications, including InformationWeek, where she spearheaded an award-winning news section, and Network Computing, where she helped develop online content strategies including review exclusives and analyst reports. Her freelance credentials include being a regular contributor of original content to The Semantic Web Blog; acting as a contributing writer to RFID Journal; and serving as executive editor at the Smart Architect Smart Enterprise Exchange group. Her work also has appeared in publications and on web sites including EdTech (K-12 and Higher Ed), Ingram Micro Channel Advisor, The CMO Site, and Federal Computer Week.

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