W3C is pleased to receive the OSD Submission from Marimba Incorporated and Microsoft Corporation.
The OSD specification proposes an interchange format, based on XML, for descriptions of software packages, a specific sort of web resource. The first work in W3C on labels for web resources was PICS; though it was focussed on labels that allow software to filter out content based on ratings, it was designed as a first step toward generalized labels, annotations, and metadata. The Metadata Activty addresses the next steps: structured labels, rules, integration with digital signatures, and so on.
Metadata related to content distribution was a theme of our September 1997 Workshop on Push Technology. None of the specific proposed vocabularies for content distribution gained critical mass to charter work in W3C, but work on the generalized infrastructure continued. The PICS label design was recast as RDF: an enriched label data model with an XML syntax.
RDF has been applied to the problem of software package labels and relationships: the rpmfind service provides RDF descriptions of over 30,000 software packages, along with tools to install the software and manage dependencies.