Fresnel: A Browser-Independent Presentation Vocabulary for RDF

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Abstract

Semantic Web browsers and other tools aimed at displaying RDF data to end users are all concerned with the same problem: presenting content primarily intended for machine consumption in a human-readable way. Their solutions differ but in the end address the same two high-level issues, no matter the underlying representation paradigm: specifying (i) what information contained in RDF models should be presented (content selection) and (ii) how this information should be presented (content formatting and styling). However, each tool currently relies on its own ad hoc mechanisms and vocabulary for specifying RDF presentation knowledge, making it difficult to share and reuse such knowledge across applications. Recognizing the general need for presenting RDF content to users and wanting to promote the exchange of presentation knowledge, we designed Fresnel as a browser-independent vocabulary of core RDF display concepts. In this paper we describe Fresnel’s main concepts and present several RDF browsers and visualization tools that have adopted the vocabulary so far.