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RDF: Related Links and other such fun stuff

RDF Web services and Mozilla

Updated 2003-03-04 by danbri, this page is currently somewhat out of date. Earlier Mozilla's used a simple RDF Web service protocol to acquire annotations for display in a browser sidebar panel. More recently this has been implemented as an HTML sidebar with the "metadata to markup" conversion happening serverside. Others have explored implemented systems that consume RDF/XML clientside...

Here are some links to related work; the original 'SmartBrowsing' write is provided below as it is still relevant to the basic goal of using annotations and RDF Web services in Mozilla:

RDF annotation links:

SmartBrowsing: What is it?

The Mozilla browser has a feature called "Related Links" which is part of a set of features called "Smart Browsing".

Imagine a "helper" who looked over your shoulder at what you were browsing and suggested other things you might want to look at. Some examples,

  1. Related Items ala Alexa : If you are looking, you might want the urls for the Senate, Edgar, Library of Congress, etc. handy...
  2. If you are about to give your credit card number to someone, maybe you want the Dun and Bradstreet rating on that company...
  3. A service that pointed you to spoofs of the site you were currently looking at.

This is a fundamental tweak to the way the web works. Currently, when a user is looking at a web page, there is a simple bilateral relation between the user and that web site.

With SmartBrowsing, we can now have trilateral relations with the opportunity for a set of third parties to contribute.

Where to see it

The UI for this feature was implemented on mac and windows in the pre-NGLayout Mozilla browser. You can also see it in operation in Netscape Navigator 4.07 or 4.5+, and read more about Netscape's What's Related services on the Netcenter site. Post-NGLayout, this feature is not yet fully implemented.

In the older v5 browser go to the View menu and select "Show Navigation Center". Go to some page like Select the 4th button on the Aurora selector (SiteTools). You will see a folder called "Related Links". Open it to get a list of recommendations of what to look at in the context of If you leave the folder open, it will keep getting refreshed as you surf around.

How it works

You will be able to configure any number of "Smart Browsing Providers". Pre-NGLayout, this could be set by looking under the "Navigator Internals" section of Aurora (6th button on the selector) for a folder called "Smart Browsing Providers" (SBP). Each SBP is really just a url. For example, the Related Items SBP is When you go to, the contents --- in RDF --- of are fetched and displayed.

More details on request ...

Last Updated: $Id: SmartBrowsing.html,v 1.4 2002/03/04 12:56:20 Exp $