The State of RDF and JSON

Part of Data

Author(s) and publish date

Skip to 1 comments

If you have been paying attention to work being done at the W3C regarding RDF and JSON, you are probably confused.  We would be surprised if you weren't!  This post will hopefully clarify the state of RDF and JSON at W3C and suggest what will likely happen next.

The RDF Working Group was chartered to publish an "RDF JSON Syntax Specification" as a W3C Recommendation.  The working group subsequently established the JSON RDF Task Force to fulfill that requirement.  A number of input documents were identified for that task force, including the RDF JSON specification by Talis and JSON-LD originally by Manu Sporny.

At the first face-to-face meeting of the working group in April 2001, the group decided to "incubate" JSON-LD, to allow it more time to mature, and to proceed immediately with the creation of a more simple, Recommendation-track document based upon RDF JSON.  The reason for this was because RDF JSON is a simple encoding of RDF triples in a JSON format and was immediately useful to those RDF and Linked Data developers wishing to consume RDF in Javascript, PHP and other languages.  However, it did not target mainstream Web developers, as JSON-LD might.  This was our ISSUE 2.

However, JSON-LD matured significantly over the summer and work on the new document based on RDF JSON was not rapid.  Thus, we decided in August to reverse our earlier decision and stop work on an RDF JSON-based document for the time being.  Specifically, we resolved to "remove the words 'make a REC on something like Talis RDF/JSON' from this resolution to allow JSON-LD to further incubate."

The RDF Working Group is currently waiting in order to let JSON-LD mature.  We believe that we have sufficient time in our charter to delay our work on JSON in the hopes that an eventual Recommendation will be useful to the broader developer community.  We also do not believe that the RDF Working Group is the best place to work on JSON-LD; the JSON for Linking Data Community Group is already doing a fine job of that.

As always, feedback is welcome on this and other actions by the RDF Working Group by sending mail to

Related RSS feed

Comments (1)

Comments for this post are closed.