The POWDER Working Group was formally closed yesterday, 24th November, 2009. The WG homepage is now locked and, until and unless another group updates the work, that really is the end of the process. But there were two more things that happened yesterday as well.
First was that the PICS Recommendations were marked as superseded by POWDER. The listing of documents on the Current Status page for PICS now includes links to the relevant up to date documents (not all of which are within POWDER) and each of the Recommendations themselves includes a prominent message that it has been superseded. PICS was a major piece of work right at the very beginning of W3C and many of its features are still apparent within POWDER. A comparison of the two is available separately.
The second event yesterday took place at at the European Commission in Luxembourg: the (successful!) final review for the Quatro Plus project. This project provided much of the impetus for the development of POWDER and it is fitting that these two final events took place simultaneously.
Looking back through the later posts in this blog, I see a glaring omission so let me correct that right away. Many individuals and the companies for which they work contributed to POWDER, many of them over a sustained period of time from initial identification of the problem through to the eventual solution. The danger in listing people is that you forget someone but let me do my best to list correctly the people who have made substantial contributions and/or given critical support at different times during the development process. My personal and sincere thanks to:
And, to the person/people I forgot to mention, my sincere apology.
Now all that's left to do is to exploit the technology. Asked to sum up what POWDER does, for Semantic Web folk I can do no better than to quote Dan Brickley explaining it to Brian McBride: "It solves the About Each Prefix problem." A slightly richer summary of POWDER might be: it allows you apply common RDF descriptions, such as Dublin Core metadata, CC licences, trustmarks and more, to whole groups of resources. It can be processed as XML or OWL (noting a semantic extension) and the output is always regular RDF triples.
Hope you find it useful.