Chris Schmidt (crschmidt) wrote in lj_dev,
Chris Schmidt

RDF Data on LJ

As an RDF nut, I love seeing more data exposed as RDF. LiveJournal is one of the world's largest sources of RDF data, in the FOAF it exports, and in many ways tends to be on the leading edge of new ways of exporting data for use by its users. However, in a few ways, LJ is lacking, especially in the RDF department.
  • Latest-RSS.bml - Although this is RDF, it is not properly formatted. Specifically, the fact that <lj:mood id='' /> uses an un-namespaced "id" as an attribute. Fixing this up is a one line patch, available here.
  • RSS 1.0 feeds for entries - Although the forms we currently export (RSS 2.0 and Atom) can be converted to RDF (RSS 1.0 is an RDf-based format, compared to RSS 2.0, which is just XML), it would be nicer for use with RDF tools to provide an RDF form. This is (almost) trivially simple, and could allow for adding the Metadata described in this lj-dev post with almost no work.
  • FOAF updates - There are a couple changes which could be made to FOAF which would be useful to many tools without significant additional data load for the site: the display of actual locations (using the VCARD spec), exporting birthdates in a more commonly used format (using the bio: namespace, rather than an RDF predicate which is not in common use) and adding a user picture as a depiction of the user are the most common requests I've seen. (The beginnings of a patch for this are available.

These are all relatively simple changes, which I would be totally willing to submit patches for, but I'm not sure that there's any want for more RDF on LiveJournal. I know that I want it, and I know I've been asked by several people why LJ doesn't export RDF-based RSS feeds.

I'd like feedback. Should I go ahead and work on patches to increase RDF output? These things would basically correct current data or lie alongside current options, and would only be used by tools which understand it, most likely. (Of course, there's also the fact that users might see others and get confused, but really, users almost always end up confused in some way or another.)

Can I get either an "Amen" or "Shut up and go away" for more RDF on LJ?
Tags: syndication

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