A Web language is not only a markup language (be XML, SGML or binary). For example, JPEG is not a Web format, but a format used on the Web. A Web format has the capability to play into the Web, it has linking capabilities.
The simple fact to be able from my Web site make a link to another Web site somewhere else on the network without having to go through a prior agreement is a major feature of the Web. It seems obvious now. It was not at the time it was designed. People created good Web sites, crap Web sites. Some sites have disappeared, some have changed their organization, such as it broke many links on the Web. This is part of the social process of using a technology. When a big enough community decides that this Web page other there contains good information, it will become a reference. There will be abuse, but like in any human communities.
The net result is that the Web became a very successful source of information.
People who are creating the Semantic Web technologies such as RDF and RDFa do not propose a perfect system. The goal is to have a system which is using the nature of the Web (links). RDFa is a proposition to make Web friendly your data in your Web pages (html). People will certainly abuse it. It will break here and there, but the net effect is the creation of a network of hyperlinked data. The value and trust about data will be created by the community usages and the social network. The technology is just the support.
Further materials to explore RDFa
- introducing the Semantic Web video
- RDFa Basics video
- Best Practices for authoring RDFa
- RDFa Implementation Reports
- Fuzzbot demonstration on Web pages containing RDFa using the open source librdfa
- Aurora is a project under the umbrella of Mozilla Labs. They recently put concept videos online to show how the browser experience can be improved. See Part 1 – Collaboration, History, Data Objects, Basic Navigation and Part 4 – Personal Data Portability
- Yahoo and their plans on supporting Web data including RDFa
- Discussions revolving around RDFa and html 5 and its associated challenges