Semantic content management: consuming and producing RDF in Drupal


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Presentation slides from 'Session A1: RDFa from theory to practice' at the Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW 2010), Sheffield, UK.

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  • Thanks for this update, Stephane. I appreciate that Drupal community has taken on board this lesson about importance of timely, coordinated release. Along with lots of people, I look forward to official Drupal 7 release and availability of updated & new 'contributed' modules building on core RDF functionality.

    Yesterday I published a blog post with some more analysis of current 'state of play' in CMS engagement with linked data resources:
    Framed in a broader perspective than my presentation here on Slideshare, that blog post emphasises the important role of content management systems such as Drupal. Democratising the means of production and consumption on linked data is a step change, and it's very good to see Drupal leading on this.
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  • Great slides and excellent insight on the history of RDF in Drupal! Quick note about what you said in slide 15: ' Full range of v.7 RDF ‘contributed’ modules not likely to be available from day one of Drupal 7 release '

    We did that mistake for Drupal 6 a couple of years back and we've learnt from it. For Drupal 7, there is a 'D7CX' effort to make sure the top 40 contributed modules have a Drupal 7 release when Drupal 7 core is release. You can read about it at, and if you check you will see that many modules have already started upgrading to Drupal 7, a few are even already in alpha.
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Semantic content management: consuming and producing RDF in Drupal

  1. 1. UKOLN is supported by: Semantic content management Consuming & producing RDF in Drupal Thom Bunting, Web Manager 12 July 2010, IWMW Sheffield
  2. 2. Semantic CMS objectives <ul><li>By automatically including Resource Description Framework information (RDF / RDFa), content management systems can: </li></ul><ul><li>Improve search engine visibility of content </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce need for manual crafting of code </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthen RDF / RDFa consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Extend semantic data consumption & production </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate websites into ‘giant global graph’ </li></ul>
  3. 4. Semantic Drupal: origins <ul><li>DrupalCon Boston 2008 keynote confirms importance of RDF in Drupal </li></ul><ul><li>Dries Buytaert ‘video from the future’ shows way forward via RDF </li></ul><ul><li>2 years active planning & development </li></ul>
  4. 5. Semantic Drupal: in context <ul><li>Google: Rich Snippets </li></ul><ul><li>Yahoo: SearchMonkey </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook: OpenGraph </li></ul><ul><li>BestBuy ‘poster child’ </li></ul>
  5. 6. Semantic Drupal: consuming <ul><li>Drupal supports retrieval of RDF from remote sites </li></ul><ul><li>Drupal facilitates synchronisation of ‘master’ data (FOAF files, DBpedia, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Drupal to enable periodic refreshing / lazy loading of RDF data </li></ul><ul><li>Many use cases and examples possible </li></ul>
  6. 7. Semantic Drupal: producing <ul><li>Drupal can automatically produce RDF / RDFa resources from version 6, Drupal database fields can be mapped to produce machine-readable semantic content </li></ul><ul><li>Drupal websites can become productive citizens in world of Linked Data </li></ul>
  7. 8. Semantic Drupal: motivations <ul><li>Improved search engine results Yahoo reports 15% increase in click-through rates, BestBuy gains 30% traffic increase once RDFa included in web pages </li></ul><ul><li>Improved research & insight Connections between distributed data sets produce new insights (for example, linking people with locations, organisations, groups, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Improved web management processes Mapping of CMS database fields supports automated inclusion of RDFa tags into web pages (reducing need for hand-crafting RDF code) and periodic updates of site-wide triple stores </li></ul>
  8. 9. Semantic Drupal: current options <ul><li>Drupal 6, a mature CMS prototype RDF modules add semantic functionality (these ‘contributed’ modules have been developed by those working to include RDF in Drupal 7 ‘core’) </li></ul><ul><li>Drupal 7, currently in alpha 6 RDF functionality supported ‘out of the box’ (Drupal 7 full release expected soon) </li></ul>
  9. 10. Semantic Drupal: v.6 details <ul><li>Drupal 6 ‘contributed’ modules provide key RDF functionality </li></ul><ul><li>Evoc Reference module: defines a field type for referencing RDF class or property from a node (web page) </li></ul><ul><li>RDF and RDF CCK modules: define mappings between fields and RDF elements, export nodes as RDF </li></ul><ul><li>External RDF Vocabulary Importer module: imports external vocabularies to be mapped with Drupal data objects </li></ul><ul><li>SPARQL API module: enables the use of SPARQL queries (local / remote graphs) </li></ul><ul><li>SPARQL endpoint module: exposes local RDF data in SPARQL endpoint </li></ul>
  10. 11. Semantic Drupal: v.6 benefits <ul><li>Version 6 is first Drupal to support RDF </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic production of RDF pages (discoverable via ‘rel’ tag links in HTML headers) </li></ul><ul><li>Periodic generation of triple stores triples derive from all RDF files generated on the website, so these can be queried in Drupal website’s SPARQL endpoint (ARC2 library) – or elsewhere </li></ul>
  11. 12. Semantic Drupal: v.6 challenges <ul><li>Drupal 6 RDF ‘contributed modules’ are prototypes </li></ul><ul><li>Drupal 6 lacks core RDF functionality, depends entirely upon ‘add-ons’ </li></ul>
  12. 13. Semantic Drupal: v.7 details <ul><li>Drupal 7 ‘core’ RDF module produces extensive, well structured RDFa </li></ul><ul><li>RDF API enables other modules to consume and produce RDFa with relatively little extra effort </li></ul><ul><li>Expectation is that full range of prototype RDF modules can be improved and ported to Drupal 7, once released </li></ul>
  13. 14. Semantic Drupal: v.7 benefits <ul><li>Drupal 7 automatically produces RDFa in all site pages (output as XHTML+RDFa 1.0) </li></ul><ul><li>Drupal 7 flexibly supports namespaces (website managers can add specialist namespaces if desired, in addition to ‘out of the box’ support for dc, foaf, sioc, etc) </li></ul>
  14. 15. Semantic Drupal: v.7 challenges <ul><li>Drupal 7 currently in alpha </li></ul><ul><li>Full range of v.7 RDF ‘contributed’ modules not likely to be available from day one of Drupal 7 release </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for incremental module releases </li></ul>
  15. 16. Semantic Drupal: v.7 guidance <ul><li>Drupal 7 RDF overviews </li></ul><ul><li>Video tutorials on Drupal 7 setup </li></ul><ul><li>DrupalCon 2010 explanations of Drupal 7 RDF technology in context </li></ul>
  16. 17. In practice: Drupal 6 & 7 examples
  17. 18. Semantic Drupal: discussion <ul><li>External RDF/XML vs. embedded RDFa </li></ul><ul><li>Key RDF tags / ontologies </li></ul><ul><li>Interoperability of RDF resources </li></ul>
  18. 19. Contact information Dr. Thom Bunting UKOLN University of Bath Bath BA2 7AY United Kingdom Email: [email_address]
  19. 20. Further information about UKOLN Web: Email: [email_address]