SWAD-Europe Deliverable 2.2: Project Findings Input

Project name:
Semantic Web Advanced Development for Europe (SWAD-Europe)
Project Number:
Workpackage name:
2. Technical Coordination
Workpackage description:
Deliverable title:
SWAD-Europe: Project Findings Input
Dan Brickley
This document describes SWAD-Europe's input into W3C's planning of future Semantic Web standardization activities.
Completed. This document summarises input into the design of phase 2 of W3C's Semantic Web Activity. First version: November 2003; latest revision: August 2004. Updates have been made over the lifetime of the SWAD-Europe project. This report was updated following the 2004-06 SWAD-Europe peer review to include longer descriptions of findings of implementation and research in the project, updated to June 2004.

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 2.2 (project finding input) summarises SWAD-Europe's input into the planning of the second phase of W3C's Semantic Web Activity. Note that it does not attempt a comprehensive summary of technical issues. Rather, it gives a brief account of the SWAD-Europe team's involvement in the design discussions relating to SW Phase 2.

SW Phase 2 planning

A goal of SWAD-Europe, and specifically of Workpackage 2, is to provide implemention-led input into the standards track work of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). As a European project, SWAD-Europe interacts with the W3C planning process in several ways.

The primary means of interaction is through W3C's public Semantic Web Interest Group (SWIG), chaired by Dan Brickley. The SWIG provides an open forum for discussion, debate and information sharing amongst RDF/Semantic Web developers and users. SWAD-Europe work in the area of RDF Query and APIs (workpackage 7) and education and outreach (workpackage 3) has supported ongoing discussion and information sharing in this forum, through the circulation of technical reports, the facilitation of online discussion (email, IRC, WWW2003 Birds of a Feather sessions). The role of workpackage 2 is to channel lessons learned from these discussions into guidance for the W3C team and W3C Semantic Web Coordination Group. This is primarily facilitated by the Semantic Web Interest Group chair (Dan Brickley) participating in the weekly meetings of the W3C SW Coordination Group and of the W3C Semantic Web team. As W3C's work on RDF Core and Web Ontology draws to a close, Semantic Web Coordination Group discussions have increasingly focussed on planning of phase two of the Semantic Web Activity. Consequently, the period October/November 2003 has seen an increased amount of design discussion amongst the Semantic Web Coordination Group regarding priorities and goals for Semantic Web phase 2, culminating in the circulation by W3C Team to the Semantic Web Interest Group of discussion draft charters for possible future work on RDF Query and RDF Rules.

Workpackage 2 (specifically 2.2) has supported some of this discussion, particularly liaison with the wider RDF and Semantic Web developer community. The deliberations of the Semantic Web Coordination Group are W3C member confidential and therefore cannot be incorporated in this report. However the outcome of these discussions and other work within the W3C Team is manifested in two charter proposals as circulated to the www-rdf-rules mailing list of the RDF Interest Group. The timing of these proposals is beyond the direct control of SWAD-Europe, consequently this report can only summarise the state of play at the time of writing.

On November 7th 2003, Semantic Web Interest Group discussion of future query work was initiated, see (lengthy) discussion thread: RDF Query -- possible WG charter draft for discussion, Dan Brickley, Message-ID: <20031107182848.GO26667@w3.org>. A parallel discussion of possible future work on RDF/SW rules was also initiated by Sandro Hawke of W3C's SWAD group at MIT/CSAIL, USA. SWAD-supported discussion is scheduled to continue through November 20th, at which point the W3C Team and Semantic Web Coordination Group are expected to consider this input, refining their proposals in the light of developer feedback.

Future Work

A proposal for a SWAD-Europe supported workshop on Query (and possibly Rules) is currently underway within the Semantic Web Coordination Group. The timing of such a meeting has dependencies on W3C's evolving design for Working Groups in this area, and cannot be accurately predicted at this time.

Remaining effort under deliverable 2.2 will be used to help guide public discussion of the new SW working group proposals, and to summarise and evaluate developer input.

June 2004 Update

The following summarises the project's continued contributions to the wider W3C Semantic Web initiative, beyond those originally reported above.

In summary, both of the new Working Groups created by W3C in 2004 are beginning their work with the benefit of significant contributions from SWAD-Europe. The relaunched Semantic Web Interest Group, also chaired with SWAD-Europe support, provides an informal forum through which wider developer collaborations can feed into formal Working Group efforts.