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RDF is an abbreviation for Resource Description Format, an early-ish part of XML-related technology, that was pitched as the Semantic Web, used in Trackback and RSS 1.0 (but dropped by Pingback and RSS 2.0 respectively), later rebranded as Linked Data, experimentally published in the past, but not used by any indieweb use-cases in practice.

Microformats began in part as a reaction against the verbosity of RDF and extra technical layers. RDF developers eventually took some tips from Microformats in turn, and created RDFa and JSON-LD.

Example Uses


FOAF (Friend of a Friend) is (was?) one of the more frequently used RDF vocabularies/formats, in many ways a reinvention of the vCard vocabulary (used in hCard microformats and h-card microformats2).

From this wiki (from IndieWeb community experience), FOAF was also:

The general concept of a "friend of a friend" affording some trust (at least to leave comments) is used in the Vouch protocol.


complexity without benefit

The additional conceptual and implementation complexity costs of learning/coding RDF do not provide equivalent (or any in practice?) marginal benefit (certainly not to individual developers who have limited time/maintenance resources for their own websites):

syllogisms not useful

provokes emotional ranting

For some reason, RDF and Semantic Web in general provoke strong negative emotional reactions from at least some developers:

See Also