So, Drupal 7 has finally been released. Admittedly, with more than 100 websites managed in a single, Drupal 6 codebase installation, we won't be rushing into a migration to 7. In fact, the consultant we used last year suggested that the preferred protocol is to skip a version. So, we should wait for 8. But, I just can't wait to get my hands on the core RDFa and other linked data/semantic web pieces of the new Drupal!
I've tried to stay abreast of the semantic web developments in Drupal for the last few years as I think that the best avenue for semantic web standards' adoption is via CMSes like Drupal. So, being able, via modules like RDF, to mark up a site's content in RDF, a semantic web standard that uses "RDF triples" - nice summary post here. Inspired by Lin Clark's presentations, some of which I've seen in person and some via her YouTube channel and website, I'm hoping to dive straight into marking up some data in RDF on a Drupal 7 demo site soon. I highly recommend Lin's 'The Semantic Web and Drupal' in 2 parts on her YouTube channel. It's a concise intro to not only the semantic web and linked data concepts but to how they relate to Drupal.
Tim Berners-Lee piece from 2006 on linked data provides a nice case for the integral part that linked data will play in the next generation of the web, and ways to overcome the obstacles to adoption of standards such as RDF and SPARQL. While I can see the attraction of using the FOAF example to explain linked data and "web of data" concepts, it has always struck as a less-than-optimal paradigm and examples that include using DBpedia and other datasets seem to get the point across better. An excellent resources is the Tom Heath administered linkeddata.org site (built in Drupal, by the way!). The Guides & Tutorials section is especially good.
But, after having developed a decent "academic" knowledge of all things semantic web, I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty with some actual datasets and exploring the power of linked data to transform the web from a "web of documents" to a "web of data." I'm hoping Drupal 7 can assist a bit in this process. Would love any other recommendations for videos or tutorials on using Drupal and RDF. Post them as comments below, please.