Just a small thing, really… On a blog Sebastian Heath announced that the Greek, Roman and Byzantine Pottery at Ilion (GRPBIlion) database exports its content as Linked Data using RDFa: see the HTML page itself or its RDF representation via RDFa Distiller. Mark Birbeck already blogged about this on RDFa’s blog site.
What caught my attention, however, is a question on the original blog by Sergey Chemyshev who asked:
Is there any reason why you used XHTML+RDFa instead of RDF/XML or N3 for this? It looks like http://classics.uc.edu/troy/grbpottery/database.html doesn’t have any HTML for presentation purpose, just to produce RDF triples – what was your reasoning for embedding them into HTML?
Of course, this is a valid question but… isn’t the answer “so what” (no offense to Sergey!)? What I mean is: for most of the RDF data around RDFa is a valid serialization just as RDF/XML or Turtle are. Of course, the main message around RDFa is that it gives you tools to add RDF data to an (X)HTML page. But we should realize that one can look at it in a different way, too: it is a tool to serialize your RDF graph so that it can be displayed in a human readable form easily via a browser. The HTML side of is not necessarily fancy; it can be, actually, very simple as indeed Sebastian’s page is. But it is readable for humans, certainly more readable than RDF/XML or even Turtle would be. And I think that may be enough of a reason to use RDFa in such circumstances, too!