Managability to XML to RDF

I was just reading this post from Carlos, Flash MX, Liquid Data, Harvey Pitt, X-Technologies which lead me to this page ranting about Flash and XML Stuff which finally lead me to the point of this post.

Here's a link to the W3C's XML in 10 points document. It's very interesting because it's sort of an overview of XML that starts with HTML and ends with RDF. In the W3Cs collective mind it seems, RDF isn't just an offshoot of XML like all the zillions out there, it's important enough to warrant it's own number:

9. XML is the basis for RDF and the Semantic Web

W3C's Resource Description Framework (RDF) is an XML text format that supports resource description and metadata applications, such as music playlists, photo collections, and bibliographies. For example, RDF might let you identify people in a Web photo album using information from a personal contact list; then your mail client could automatically start a message to those people stating that their photos are on the Web. Just as HTML integrated documents, menu systems, and forms applications to launch the original Web, RDF integrates applications and agents into one Semantic Web. Just like people need to have agreement on the meanings of the words they employ in their communication, computers need mechanisms for agreeing on the meanings of terms in order to communicate effectively. Formal descriptions of terms in a certain area (shopping or manufacturing, for example) are called ontologies and are a necessary part of the Semantic Web. RDF, ontologies, and the representation of meaning so that computers can help people do work are all topics of the Semantic Web Activity.

Wow. Is this like when you're shopping for a new car, then after you buy it you can't stop noticing all the television ads for new cars? I've been using XML since 1998 and I've ONLY even heard about RDF this year when I started messing with blogs (RSS 1.0). I only heard about "Dublin Core" about 2 months ago...

What's the deal... if this stuff is so important, where the are the apps? The only app I've run into that uses RDF are aggregators.


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