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RDF Working Group Charter Extension Request

The RDF working group, created in February 2011, has an initial lifetime of 24 months, with a charter ending on 31 January 2013. The group has just released 4 Last Call Working Drafts and requests an extension of eleven months to progress these specifications to Recommendation (until 31 December 2013). Note that the timetable is a bit stricter and aims at the Recommendations during summer 2013, but the extension leaves some room for possible shifts.

The abbreviations in the tables below stand for the following Working Group documents:

  • rdf-cas: RDF 1.1 Concepts and Abstract Syntax
  • rdf-sem: RDF 1.1 Semantics
  • rdf-turtle: Turtle: Terse RDF Triple Lanaguage
  • json-ld-syntax: JSON-LD 1.0: A JSON-based Serialization for Linked Data
  • json-ld-api: JSON-LD 1.0 Processing Algorithms and API
  • rdf-trig: TriG: RDF Dataset Language
  • rdf-xml: RDF 1.1 XML Syntax Specification
  • rdf-schema: RDF Vocabulary Description Language 1.1: RDF Schema
  • rdf-primer: RDF 1.1 Primer
  • rdf-new: What's New in RDF 1.1 (see resolution)
  • rdf-test: RDF 1.1 Test Cases
  • rdf-ntriples: N-Triples: A limited Turtle syntax for triples
  • rdf-dataset: RDF Dataset Semantics

RDF Working Group Status

The group has a healthy membership and a set of core participants (about 20) actively contributing to and and reviewing specifications. The mailing list archive (over 6,700 messages) and the tracker (111 issues, 12 of which remain open) are good indicators of the activity of the working group. Oracle, IBM, Google and the Apache Software Foundation are active participants.

Many members have indicated their intention to implement the specifications, suggesting the need for this decadal update to RDF.

Since its launch, the group has released the following working drafts. Four Recommendation-track documents were published as Last Call Working Draft.

Month Rec track Note track
rdf-cas rdf-sem rdf-turtle json-ld-syntax json-ld-api rdf-trig rdf-xml rdf-schema rdf-primer rdf-new rdf-test rdf-ntriples rdf-dataset
2011-08 FPWD FPWD
2012-06 WD
2012-07 LC FPWD FPWD
2013-01 WD CR expected

Deviation from Charter

The RDF working group charter identifies eight possible deliverables, all of which of which may be on recommendation track. Dates are expressed in the form T+X, where T is 2011-02, the start of the group activities, and X the number of months.

Most of the work of the group was delayed due to one protracted discussion regarding RDF graphs, especially the differences in semantics between various deployed use cases and the 2004 RDF Semantics Recommendation. This discussion reached a natural equilibrium point around September 2012, which clarified the group's position. We have no major technical issues to discuss and the way is thus clear to make quick progress on the remaining documents. Most of them (rdf-cas, rdf-xml, rdf-schema and rdf-primer) now require only minor updates to bring them in line with the forthcoming rdf-sem.

Charter deliverable Type Stage Predicted date Actual document Actual date/status
D1 Rec FPWD T+3 rdf-cas T+6
LC T+15 rdf-cas editor's draft
D2 Rec FPWD T+3 rdf-sem wiki page
LC T+15 rdf-sem wiki page
Note rdf-dataset editor's draft
D3 Rec FPWD T+3 rdf-xml editor's draft
LC T+15 rdf-xml editor's draft
D4 Rec FPWD T+3 rdf-schema editor's draft
LC T+15 rdf-schema editor's draft
D5 Rec FPWD T+10 rdf-turtle T+6
LC T+18 rdf-turtle T+16
rdf-trig editor's draft
Note rdf-ntriples editor's draft
D6 Rec FPWD T+18 json-ld-syntax T+16
LC T+23 json-ld-syntax editor's draft
json-ld-api editor's draft
D7 Note FPWD T+11 rdf-primer editor's draft
rdf-new No draft
D8 Note FPWD T+15 rdf-test No draft

Specifications requiring substantial editorial work

  • D2 (RDF 1.1 Semantics) was substantially delayed due to fundamental disagreements within the group. However, all 12 issues have been successfully resolved and the document is now being drafted. A note on the semantics of datasets is available, which takes in consideration some of the decisions made for RDF semantics.
  • D7 (RDF Primer) is now in progress after all major technical issues have been resolved.
  • D8 (RDF Test Cases) should proceed quickly now that all major technical issues have been resolved.

Specifications requiring minor editorial work

  • D1 (RDF 1.1 Concepts and Abstract Syntax) has made steady progress and is nearly ready for Last Call status. The document is currently waiting on the first WD of RDF Semantics.
  • D3 (RDF/XML Syntax Specification) was determined not to require major changes or updates. Minor errata will be repaired.
  • D4 (RDF Vocabulary Description Language 1.1: RDF Schema) was determined not to require major changes or updates. Minor errata will be repaired.
  • D5 (RDF Turtle Syntax Specification) has proceeded in an orderly fashion. Discussions related to RDF graphs and datasets necessitated the splitting of this deliverable into two documents, Turtle and TriG, as allowed by our charter. It has also been decided to publish a separate WG Note for ntriples, instead incorporating it into the Turtle specification (or keeping it in the RDF Test document, as in the 2004 version)
  • D6 (RDF JSON Syntax Specification) was returned to the JSON-LD Interest Group for further work for approximately one year until adequately mature. The specification was returned to the RDF WG in June 2012. Work has proceeded consistently since that time.

Proposed Timetable

The proposed revised timetable is as follows.

Specifications on Recommendation track LC Publication End of LC Review CR publication PR publication Rec
rdf-cas 2013-03-01 2013-05-01 2013-07-01 2013-09-01 2013-11-01
rdf-sem 2013-03-01 2013-05-01 2013-07-01 2013-09-01 2013-11-01
rdf-turtle 2012-07-10 2012-09-15 2013-02-12 2013-04-01 2013-06-01
json-ld-syntax 2013-03-01 2013-05-01 2013-07-01 2013-09-01 2013-11-01
json-ld-api 2013-03-01 2013-05-01 2013-07-01 2013-09-01 2013-11-01
rdf-trig 2013-04-01 2013-06-01 2013-08-01 2013-10-01 2013-12-01
rdf-xml 2013-03-01 2013-05-01 2013-07-01 2013-09-01 2013-11-01
rdf-schema 2013-03-01 2013-05-01 2013-07-01 2013-09-01 2013-11-01
Specifications on Note track Latest Release Draft available Final Note
rdf-ntriples yes 2013-06-30
rdf-primer yes 2013-06-30
rdf-new 2013-06-30
rdf-test 2013-06-30
rdf-dataset yes 2013-06-30


The following participants have indicated their interest in continued participation in the RDF Working Group, and work on implementation (where appropriate) is ongoing:

  • David Wood
  • Gregg Kellogg
  • Guus Schreiber
  • Markus Lanthaler
  • Peter F. Patel-Schneider
  • Eric Prud'hommeaux
  • Pat Hayes
  • Pierre-Antoine Champin
  • Andy Seaborne
  • Richard Cyganiak
  • Gavin Carother
  • Ivan Herman
  • Scott Bauer
  • Sandro Hawke
  • Antoine Zimmermann