W3C Workshop — RDF Next Steps
Call for Participation

June 26-27, 2010,
hosted by the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO), Stanford, CA, USA

Background

The Resource Description Framework (RDF), including the general concepts, its semantics, and an XML Serialization (RDF/XML), have been published in 2004. Since then, RDF has become the core architectural block of the Semantic Web, with a significant deployment in terms of tools and applications.

As a result of the R&D activities and the publication of newer standards like SPARQL, OWL, POWDER, or SKOS, but also due to the large scale deployment and applications, a number of issues regarding RDF came to the fore. Some of those are related to features that are not present in the current version of RDF but which became necessary in practice (eg, the concept of “Named Graphs”). Others result from the difficulties caused by the design decisions taken in the course of defining the 2004 version of RDF (eg, restrictions whereby literals cannot appear as subjects). Definition of newer standards have also revealed difficulties when applying the semantics of RDF (eg, the exact semantics of blank nodes for RIF and OWL, or the missing connection between URI-s and the RDF resources named by those URI-s for POWDER). New serializations formats (eg, Turtle) have gained a significant support by the community, while the complications in RDF/XML syntax have created some difficulties in practice as well as in the acceptance of RDF by a larger Web community. Finally, at present there is no standard programming API to manage RDF data; the need may arise to define such a standard either in a general, programming language independent way or for some of the important languages (Javascript/ECMAscript, Java, Python,…)

It is therefore time to consider whether a revision of the 2004 version of RDF is necessary or whether the community can continue developing with the current version.

Workshop Goals

The goal of the workshop is to gather feedback from the Web community on whether and, if yes, in which direction RDF should evolve. One of the main issues the Workshop should help deciding is whether it is timely for W3C to start a new RDF Working Group to define and standardize a next version of RDF.

While a new version of RDF may include changes in terms of features, semantics, and serialization syntax(es), backward compatibility is of a paramount importance. Indeed, RDF has been deployed by tools and applications, and the last few years have seen a significant uptake of Semantic Web technologies and publication of billions of triples stemming from public databases (see, eg, the Linked Open Data community). It would be, therefore, detrimental to this evolution if RDF was seen as unstable and if the validity of current application would be jeopardized by a future evolution. As a consequence, with any changes of RDF, backward compatibility requirements should be formalized, along the lines of, say:

The main outcome of the workshop will be the publication of a workshop proceedings and, in case there is a consensus on moving forward, a draft for a charter for a newly created RDF Working Group.

Requirements for Participation

Position Papers

Position papers are the basis for the discussion at the workshop. These papers will also be made available to the public from the workshop site.

Topics

The main topics of the workshop are:

Other topics are also acceptable if they fit in the general goals of the workshop.

They should also explain the participants' position with respect to possible specific work items that W3C could take up in within the workshop’s broader scope.

Format

All papers should be 1 to 5 pages, although they may link to longer versions or appendixes.

Accepted position papers will be published on the public Web pages of the workshop. Submitting a position paper comprises a default recognition of these terms for publication. Allowed formats are valid HTML/XHTML (preferred) or PDF. Papers in any other formats will be returned with a request for correct formatting. Good examples for position papers can be seen in the W3C Workshop on Languages for Privacy Policy Negotiation and Semantics-Driven Enforcement or the Workshop on Semantic Web in Oil & Gas Industry.

The Program Committee may ask the authors of particularly salient position papers to explicitly present their position at the workshop to foster discussion. Presenters will be asked to make the slides of the presentation available on the workshop homepage in HTML, PDF, or OpenOffice.org presentation.

Please, use the online form to make your submission, no later than 2010-04-11.

Workshop Organization

Workshop Chairs

Program Committee:

The program committee consists of:

(Some other committee members have been asked but not comfirmed yet.)

The program committee will review statements of interest to select which people to invite to give presentations, and to come up with the workshop agenda.

Venue:

Hosted by the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO), Stanford, CA, USA. See the separate page on hotels and the details of the venue.

Important Dates

Date Event
2010-04-11 Deadline for submission of your statement of position papers, requirements for participation.
2010-05-16 Acceptance notifications and registration instructions sent.
2010-06-13 Deadline for the final papers sent in for the conference. Program and accepted postition papers are posted on the workshop website.
2010-06-18 Deadline for registration.
2010-06-26 Workshop Begins (9 AM)
2010-06-27 Workshop Ends (5pm)
2010-07-20 Conference minutes and deliverables posted on the workshop website.

Ivan Herman, W3C, Semantic Web Activity Lead

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