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Document Title

Turtle: Terse RDF Triple Language

Document URI


Editor's draft for Candidate Recommendation


Last Call WD


Estimated publication date

January 23, 2013

Record of the decision to request the transition

RDF WG telecon of 12 December 2012:


CR duration period

The minimal duration for this CR period is until 23 March 2013.


The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a general-purpose language for representing information in the Web. This document defines a textual syntax for RDF called Turtle that allows an RDF graph to be completely written in a compact and natural text form, with abbreviations for common usage patterns and datatypes. Turtle provides levels of compatibility with the existing N-Triples format as well as the triple pattern syntax of the SPARQL W3C Recommendation.


This document was published by the RDF Working Group as a Candidate Recommendationt. This document is intended to become a W3C Recommendation. W3C publishes a Candidate Recommendation to indicate that the document is believed to be stable and to encourage implementation by the developer community. This Candidate Recommendation is expected to advance to Proposed Recommendation in the course of 2013. If you wish to make comments regarding this document, please send thse to public-rdf-comments@w3.org (subscribe, archives). The Candidate Recommendation period ends 23 March 2013. All feedback is welcome.

This document was produced by a group operating under the 5 February 2004 W3C Patent Policy. W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the group; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) must disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.

The following features are at risk and may be removed due to lack of implementation. @@

Changes to the Last Call version

See: https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/rdf/raw-file/default/rdf-turtle/index.html#sec-changelog

The changes include:

  • Renaming for STRING_* productions to STRING_LITERAL_QUOTE sytle names rather than numbers
  • Local part of prefix names can now include ":"
  • Turtle in HTML
  • Renaming of grammar tokens and rules around IRIs
  • Reserved character escape sequences
  • String escape sequences limited to strings
  • Numeric escape sequences limited to IRIs and Strings
  • Support top-level blank-predicate-object lists
  • White space required between @prefix and prefix label

None of the changes made since the July 10, 2012 start of Last Call are considered to have the effect of completely invalidating any previous review of the specification.

Evidence that the document satisfies group's requirements

The requirements have not changed since the previous transition. All requirements previously satisfied remain satisfied.

Evidence that dependencies with other groups met (or not)

The specification has one normative reference to a W3C specification that is not yet Candidate Recommendations, namely

The specification has been very widely reviewed both by public commenters, by other W3C working groups, and by key participants involved in work at other organizations such as the IETF. A Disposition of Comments document is available, as well as a list of open issues and related change proposals that are awaiting working-group decisions.

W3C groups that submitted comments include (but are not limited to) the W3C TAG, CSS WG, Internationalization WG, MultilingualWeb-LT WG, Protocols and Formats WG, Responsive Images Community Group, Web and TV IG, and XML Core WG.

Evidence that issues have been formally addressed

There are no formal objections outstanding against the Turtle specification:

Implementation Information

CR Exit Criteria:

  1. Two or more implementations should pass all the approved tests in the test suite.

Further information:

Features at risk

The following features are at risk and may be removed.

Patent Disclosures