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The Stack Exchange communities could really do with incorporating RDFa into its platforms. It would provide a way to share and aggregate questions and answers across platofrms. Could be achieved by producing a lightweight domain specific ontology (QA vocabulary) and then allowing additional snippets to be added to enrich text (folksonomic vocabulary - already an ontology for tagging) and link to other things on the web (not just a hyperlink, but predicatively described). The lightweight domain specific ontology could also be adopted by non-overflow QA forums, facilitating the syndication of QA forums across the World Wide Web.

Has anyone looked into this? It wouldn't require any business change and requires little effort to accomplish this.

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1 Answer 1

It would require a major business change. RDFa looks like a nice format for HTML, but Stack Exchange is a database-driven app. It currently runs on SQL and C#; this would mean rewriting the whole platform!

Incedentally, the 'sharing' part of your question is pretty well served by the creative-commons data dumps: See http://blog.stackoverflow.com/category/cc-wiki-dump/ for an explanation and download of the site in a different format.

You're more than welcome to convert the data dump to RDFa and try to develop an SO clone using RDFa, just make sure you give proper attribution.

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That is not really an argument for not publishing RDFa (don't confuse RDFa with RDF). Lots of data driven apps publish RDFa. The point of RDFa is that is saves having to create another publishing process since they already publish HTML. It also allows the linking of data within an HTML document. Thanks anyway for the pointer to the Wiki Dump - might be one for the new WikiData initiative. –  William Greenly Feb 9 '12 at 13:06

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