W3C

SWSWiki

A few days ago W3C opened a new wiki on Semantic Web Standards:

… It is not the goal of this wiki to supersede other community wikis […] instead it is to provide a “first stop” for more information on Semantic Web technologies, in particular on Semantic Web Standards published by the W3C. Communities around such standards are also welcome to use the Wiki for their purpose

The new wiki makes use of Semantic Media Wiki (and thanks to Denny Vrandecic to have helped in setting up things). A good example is the way Semantic Web tools are handled (the structure was greatly inspired by a similar collection on the SemanticWeb.org site). In contrast to the old collection of Semantic Web tools on ESW Wiki, each tool gets its own page now; see, for example, the page for Jena.

The template that helps creating that page adds a number of Semantic Media Wiki statements which also yield an RDF description for the tool. The RDF content makes use of public vocabularies like Dublin Core, DOAP, RDFS; it also has an rdfs:seeAlso entry to the similar page on SemanticWeb.org and, when applicable, there is also a link to the tool‘s DOAP file. (Using external vocabularies was not obvious; it is a bit convoluted in Semantic Media Wiki. Denny‘s help was essential in finding out how to do that…). As a result, these tool descriptions are not in isolation any more but are properly linked to other resources on the (Semantic) Web.

The tools are also categorized on what type of SW technologies they are relevant to (ie, RDF, OWL, SKOS, etc), what category of tools they are (programming environment, editors, converters), or what programming language, if any, they are usable from. The great thing is that it is then possible, by adding suitable Semantic Media Wiki statements into a page, to collect references to tools on another page. Eg, the page on RDFa includes (well, indirectly via a template) the following:

{{#ask: [[Category:Tool]] [[SW Technology::RDFa]]
|?Tool Name= |?modified= |sort=modified |limit =5
…

that will automatically display references to the 5 most recently added/modified tools related to RDFa. This type of possibility (and others, see the tool page) made it really worth the move from the old ESW wiki.

Of course, this is a wiki. Ie, it has to evolve through community help and participation. Maybe new features for tools or new search formats and references are necessary. I would like to see a structure similar to the tools for the list of books which is, at present, just a flat list. A SPARQL engine to search through the site would be useful. Various communities should use the Wiki for their own purposes (this has already started, see the discussion page set up for the discussion on RDF‘s future). Etc… But the first step has been made!

About Ivan Herman

Ivan Herman is the leader of the Digital Publishing Activity at W3C. For more details, see http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/