Drupal 7 released with native semantic technology

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The Drupal community announced today the release of Drupal 7, the latest version of the popular open source web content management system. Among the enhancements is a very intriguing native support for RDFa, a technological building block for the semantic web.

RDFa in Drupal 7 provides a way to embed machine-readable metadata into websites, giving the industry a standard way to begin building the Semantic Web. The implications are huge, but as Drupal sees it, this will make it easier for search engines to extract data that's only machine readable, such as location information, to provide a location on a map or the correct date format for a given country. 

But Drupal 7 is not just about the future of the web, it's also about the present. Angie Byron (aka Webchick), Drupal 7 core maintainer, says Drupal has done much to update the product, "Drupal 7 sports an improved new user interface, accessibility improvements, better image handling capabilities, support for rich content metadata, security features, scalability and database interoperability enhancements, a suite of 30,000 automated tests to ensure stability, and more."

That said, not everyone was impressed. Adriaan Bloem from the Real Story Group writes in a blog post this morning, it was a big step forward, but he believes it still has far to go. "Version 7 is one giant leap for Drupal, but one small step for man," Bloem wrote. "It doesn't fundamentally change how it stacks up against most of the platform systems we cover. Drupal still lacks a lot of the infrastructure that's considered a commodity in other platform systems."

Be that as it may, Drupal still runs many well-known sites including Whitehouse.gov, NPR.org, the Rolling Stones' website, Brown University and MTV among millions of others.

Drupal 7 is available immediately for download from the Drupal website.

For more information:
- see the Drupal 7 press release
- see the Drupal 7 information page

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