How Drupal Implements the Semantic Web Layers
While working on a paper about Drupal as an Electronic Lab Notebook that utilizes Semantic Web technologies, a graduate student asked me for more visuals about what I was trying to do. In response, I came up with the graphic above to describe how Drupal currently relates to the Semantic Web. To me, it presents an interesting focal point for thinking about Drupal as a platform for the Semantic Web. How much is really implemented at this point? And how much of the layer cake does it really make sense to implement with Drupal?
First of all, I think it is important to take into account the strengths and weaknesses of Drupal in the context of an ELN.
And how much of the layer cake does it really make sense to implement with Drupal?
We could talk around those points at length, mentioning the plethora of modules, the ever-improving security, the great community support as well as commercial offerings for support and so forth. But I believe that in one sense those are derivatives of these major advantages of Drupal.
So for a semantic ELN based on Drupal, what does this mean? How much of the Semantic Web stack should be implemented in Drupal and how much should not? I would suggest the following approach.
This would seem to be the most feasible approach going forward for how to use Drupal as an ELN, building on its strengths and compensating for its weaknesses by using web services. A little semantics goes a long way, and the contribution that Drupal can make in this area can thus be significant, including as a platform for an ELN that is useful in many situations. It is just important to stay real about what makes sense.