DRAFT: Semantic-Web Best Practices and Deployment (SWBPD) Working Group Charter

$Revision: 1.3 $ of $Date: 2003/12/17 17:37:51 $

This is a draft towards a charter for a possible Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group, managed under the W3C Semantic Web Activity.

This document is maintained by Guus Schreiber, in collaboration with Dan Brickley, Dan Connolly and Eric Miller.

Status of this document

The W3C Team, with input from the Semantic Web Coordination Group, is presently involved in drafting a proposal to its Membership for a "Semantic Web Phase 2 Activity". The final Activity Proposal when it is submitted for review by the W3C Members will need to be specific about what work is proposed to be chartered, and what W3C resources (staff time, etc.) will be used. What follows is an early draft for a charter for a possible Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group. There is no commitment to W3C undertaking this work; this draft is circulated for early comment only. If you have any opinions on this draft, you are invited to send them to www-rdf-interest@w3.org. Please cite the revision number ($ rev $) of this draft.


1. Scope

1.1 General aim

The aim of this Semantic-Web Best Practices and Deployment (SWBPD) Working Group is to provide hands-on support for developers of Semantic Web applications. With the publication of the revised RDF and the new OWL specification we expect a large number of new application developers. Some evidence of this could be seen at the last International Semantic Web Conference in Florida, which featured a wide range of applications, including 10 submissions to the Semantic Web Challenge (see http://challenge.semanticweb.org/).This working group will help application developers by providing them with "best practices" in various forms, ranging from engineering guidelines, ontology/vocabulary repositories to educational material and demo applications.

This WG is intended to capitalize on work already been done. This work is typically spread over a range of disciplines: philosophy, linguistics, library science, psychology, conceptual modeling, domain modeling, etc.

The working group will focus on four areas for providing support.

1.2 Focus areas

Focus 1: Supporting initiatives for publishing ontologies/vocabularies

In various domains large ontologies, including vocabularies and thesauri, have been constructed. Typically, these corpora are the result of many years of collaborative effort in a community. Such corpora form indispensable resources for semantic-web applications. One prime objective of the SWBPD Working Group is to help make these resources publicly available for application developers.

To this end the working group will undertake the following activities:

The result should be a set of publicly available high-profile ontologies. The following is a indicative (nonlimitative) list of existing ontologies that this focus area is targeted at:

Criteria for an ontology to be within the scope of this WG are:

NOTE: For ontologies not meeting these criteria the Working Group will consider setting up a separate repository, possibly in cooperation with the existing repository of the DAML program.

Related work to be considered include SWAD Europe work on thesauri, SchemaWeb as well as similar initiatives.

Focus 2: FAQs and how-to-do-it guidelines

The goal of this focus area is to provide support for practical issues related to ontology/vocabulary engineering and use for the semantic web.

The WG will be the sponsoring group for the RDF in XHTML Task Force, currently chartered under the Semantic Web Coordination Group. The WG will, in conjunction with the HTML WG, deliver a WG Note proposing a way of representing RDF metadata within an XHMTL document (see also http://www.w3.org/2003/03/rdf-in-xml.html.

Other Working Group Notes may be developed from topics brought by WG participants. The WG will also consider using Wiki techniques to create a repository of guidelines. Areas for guideline development include:

In addition, the repository is likely to contain the following types of components:

WG Notes that could be produced:

Focus 3. Repository of tools and demo applications

Tool and application archive:

Preference is given to open-source software.

NOTE: This focus area is likely to be carried out in coordination with activities in the DAML program, e.g. on open-source tools for OWL:

Focus 4. Links to related techniques

The Working Group will consider publishing Working Group Notes on links to related (standardization) efforts. The goal of such notes will be to provide guidelines for users who want to combine usage of the two fields. Typical topics for such notes would be:

This should typically be done in cooperation with the other organizations involved (MPEG, OASIS, OMG)

1.3 Out of scope

2. Deliverables and Schedule

This Working Group is chartered for a duration of 24 months. The kick-off meeting is planned to be held on March 4-5 2004 (the Web Ont slot) at the W3C Tech Plenary in Cannes.

This WG does not expect to produce recommendation-track work. The WG will initiate task forces for producing WG notes. These task forces will typically operate in the following way:

The Working Group will consider producing a short note about how the WG determines what is a best practice, e.g. that it should be based on real implementations. The best-practices process of the OASIS UDDI Spec TC could serve as useful input.

3. Relationship with Other Activities

3.1 W3C activities

3.2 External groups

4. Membership, Meetings, and Logistics

To become a member of the Working Group, a representative of a W3C Member organization must be nominated by their Advisory Committee Representative (details on how to join are on the group home page). The nomination must include explicit agreement to this charter, including its goals, and the level of effort required and an IPR disclosure.

Membership is also open to invited experts from the community, selected by the chair or co-chair in order to balance the technical experience of the group.

Participation is expected to consume at least a day per week of each Working Group member's time.

All proceedings of the WG (mail archives, telecon minutes, ftf minutes) will be available to th public.

4.1 Email communication

The mailing list for group communication is @@ list name, e.g. www-swbp-wg@w3.org.

@@ Consider additional discussions lists

4.2 Group home page

The Working Group will have a home page (@@ add URI) that records the history of the group, provides access to the archives, meeting minutes, updated schedule of deliverables, membership list, and relevant documents and resources. The page will be available to the public and will be maintained by one of the co-chairs in collaboration with the W3C team contact.

4.3 Telephone meetings

The Working Group will hold teleconferences approximately every two weeks. Participation in phone conferences is limited to members of the working group. The Chair may, at his discretion, invite guest experts to attend particular phone conferences. An IRC channel may be used to supplement teleconferences.

Meeting records should be made available within two days of each telephone meeting.

4.4 Face-to-face meetings

Participation in face-to-face meetings is limited to working group members and observers invited by the Chair. Observers may take part in decision-making at the discretion of the Chair.

In addition to the required two annual face-to-face meetings, the Working Group may schedule other face-to-face meetings in a manner that maximizes co-location with events that Working Group members might be attending anyway.

The Chair makes Working Group meeting dates and locations available to the group at least eight weeks before the meeting, per W3C Process.

5. Resources

5.1 WG participation

To be successful, we expect the Working Group to have approximately 20 active principal members for its 24-month duration. We also expect a large public review group that will participate in the mailing list discussions.

5.2 W3C team involvement

The W3C Team expects to dedicate the services of one engineer, 40% time, for the 2-year duration of the Working Group. @@@ is the designated W3C Team contact.

6. Intellectual Property Rights

W3C promotes an open working environment. Whenever possible, technical decisions should be made unencumbered by intellectual property right (IPR) claims.

This is a Royalty Free Working Group, as described in W3C's Current Patent Practice, dated 24 January 2002.

Working Group participants disclose patent claims by sending email to patent-issues@w3.org; please see Current Patent Practice for more information about disclosures.