SWAD-Europe Deliverable 2.3: Advisory meeting report

Project name:
Semantic Web Advanced Development for Europe (SWAD-Europe)
Project Number:
Workpackage name:
2. Technical Coordination
Workpackage description:
Deliverable title:
SWAD-Europe: Advisory meeting report
Dan Brickley
This document describes the input into the SWAD-Europe project from the project's advisors.
Completed. Updated following 2004-06 peer review to include composition of the Advisory Group and details of the events held, including conclusions.

Comments on this document are welcome and should be sent to the public-esw@w3.org list. An archive of this list is available at http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-esw/


This SWAD-Europe deliverable 2.3 (advisory meeting report) summarises input into SWAD-Europe's work from the project's advisors. It follows the project finding input document, which outlined the project's input into the W3C Semantic Web Activity.

Project advisors and advisory mechanisms

The project draws guidance both from individual advisors as well from the Semantic Web Coordination Group (SW CG). A number of individuals, including experts and users, interact with the project through the public public-esw mailing list, as well as through additional mechanisms such as the ESW Wiki, the public-esw-thes mailing list (for Thesauri discussion), and through their own and the project's cross-referenced weblog articles.

These mechanisms, while relatively informal, have allowed the project team to draw upon a wide range of expertise and to have ongoing, constructive feedback on the formal and informal works of the project.

This mode of advice has proved useful when specific feedback on an immediate concern (eg. designs for outreach efforts such as t-shirts, workshops, postcards) was needed. In addition, individual deliverables have prompted feedback, advice and suggestions in a variety of fora, depending on how they were announced. A more formally structured advisory group was originally envisaged, but the approach outlined here was better suited to the grassroots, developer-oriented design of the project's workplan.

In addition to the more immediate, issue-oriented input provided by various individuals via public-esw and other channels, the project has drawn strategic direction from the work of W3C's Semantic Web Advisory Group. Rather than attempt to duplicate such a forum, we have instead used our link to the SW CG (via Dan Brickley's place on the CG as Semantic Web Interest Group chair and RDFCore co-chair) to provide overarching guidance on coordination and strategic issues.

Since SWAD-Europe was designed to support W3C's standards-track activities on the Semantic Web, this advisory structure has proved appropriate. For example, in autumn 2003 the project was considering a workshop on RDF Query, with the intent of providing support for any new standards-track work in this area. After discussion in the SW CG we chose not to proceed with such a workshop, since W3C planned instead to immediately propose a Working Group in that area, whose initial meetings such a workshop would duplicate. Instead, we are proceeding with plans for a workshop on Topic Maps; this is based, in part, on discussions within SW CG on strategic priorities for non standards-track outreach and best practices efforts.

Similarly, discussions of the SW CG regarding the future of the RDF / Semantic Web Interest Group and the (proposed) Best Practices and Dissemination Working Group have addressed the issue of SWAD-Europe (and SWAD-MIT) input into such fora.

The combination of SW CG input with direct, continuous interaction with a community of advising experts has constituted our advisory mechanisms to date. Additional, more formalised, mechanisms may be needed during the final months of the project's work.

Advisory Group composition

As described above, the W3C Semantic Web Coordination Group served in an Advisory Group role for the SWAD-Europe project. The Composition of the W3C SW CG has varied over time, but in general includes at least the chairs of all active W3C Working and Interest Groups in the Semantic Web Activity, and is chaired by the Semantic Web Activity Lead (Eric Miller). The SW CG now maintains a public home page, which describes an event timeline, and CG membership.

As of August 2004, the CG membership is as follows:

(Please refer to the CG pages for updates to this information)

Member Working Group or Role
Dan Brickley Semantic Web Interest Group Chair
RDF Core Working Group Chair
Dan Connolly Data Access Working Group Chair
Brian McBride RDF Core Working Group Chair
Eric Miller W3C Semantic Web Activity Lead
Guus Schreiber Best Practices and Deployment Working Group Chair
Web Ontology Working Group Chair
Hugo Haas Web Services Activity Lead
Jim Hendler Web Ontology Working Group Chair
Ralph Swick W3C Semantic Web Advanced Development Lead
David Wood Best Practices and Deployment Working Group Chair

Events, meeting schedule and decision records

The W3C Semantic Web Coordination Group meets on a weekly schedule, by teleconference, for 1-2 hours. Proceedings of the CG are available to W3C Members via the w3c-semweb-cg list (password required). The input of the CG into SWAD-Europe's work has primarily been into setting priorities for Workshops, coordinating these with the needs of standards-track work at W3C (notably in discussions about the relative merits of a Query Workshop, which was eventually dropped in favour of launching the W3C RDF Data Access Working Group). The SW CG calendar lists SWAD-Europe events alongside other Semantic Web events that are monitored by the CG. All decisions of the CG are available from the mail archives mentioned above; decisions relating to the SWAD-Europe project in particular are not recorded separately, but are evident in the operational decisions of the project, specifically in the timing and subject coverage of the project's Developer Workshops.