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Semantic Web Activity Statement

October 2013 Work conducted under the Semantic Web Activity has ended or is now nearing the end of its charter. See the highlights section for the current situation.

The goal of the Semantic Web initiative is as broad as that of the Web: to create a universal medium for the exchange of data. It is envisaged to smoothly interconnect personal information management, enterprise application integration, and the global sharing of commercial, scientific and cultural data. Facilities to put machine-understandable data on the Web are quickly becoming a high priority for many organizations, individuals and communities.

The Web can reach its full potential only if it becomes a place where data can be shared and processed by automated tools as well as by people. For the Web to scale, tomorrow's programs must be able to share and process data even when these programs have been designed totally independently. The Semantic Web Activity is an initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) designed to provide a leadership role in defining this Web. The Activity develops open specifications for those technologies that are ready for large scale deployment, and identifies, through open source advanced development, the infrastructure components that will be necessary to scale in the Web in the future.

The principal technologies of the Semantic Web fit into a set of layered specifications. The current components are the Resource Description Framework (RDF) Core Model, the RDF Schema language, the Web Ontology language (OWL), and the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS). Building on these core components is a standardized query language, SPARQL (pronounced "sparkle"), enabling querying decentralized collections of RDF data. The POWDER recommendations provide technologies to find resource descriptions for specific resources on the Web; descriptions which can be “joined” to other RDF data. The GRDDL and RDFa Recommendations aim at creating bridges between the RDF model and various XML formats, like XHTML. RDFa also plays an important role as a format to add Structured Data to HTML, i.e., as a means to help using Linked Data in Web Applications. The goal of the R2RML language is to provide standard language to map relational data and relational database schemas to RDF and OWL. Finally, the goal of the newly proposed Linked Data Profile Working Group is to provide a “entry level” layer to manage Linked Data file using RESTful, HTTP based API.

Highlights Since the Previous Advisory Committee Meeting

The RDF Working Group began its work in February 2011; its charter has been extended until the 31st of December 2013. The mission of the group is to update the 2004 version of the Resource Description Framework (RDF) Recommendation. The group has published many Candidate Recommendations in recent months: Turtle—Terse RDF Triple Language in February, RDF 1.1 Concepts and Abstract Syntax in July 2013 and RDF 1.1 Semantics in November 2013.

JSON-LD Syntax 1.0 was published as a Candidate Recommendation in September 2013 and has just moved to Proposed Recommendation. The standard was originally developed by a separate JSON for Linking Data Community Group and has now been incorporated into the Recommendation track document of the RDF Working Group (JSON-based serialization of RDF is part of the group’s charter). Last Call Working drafts have also published for TriG and N-Triples and N-Quads.

The RDFa Working Group has successfully taken HTML+RDFa 1.1 to Recommendation and is now dormant pending the completion of HTML5 and RDF 1.1 that may trigger an edited Recommendation.

The Web Schemas Task Force, under the control of the Semantic Web Interest Group, continues its activity; it has become the major public discussion forum for the evolution of vocabularies, and we envisage keeping this task force open for the coming period. The proposed Data Activity assigns Team resources to this group to support the development of vocabularies at W3C (see below.

The Linked Data Platform Working Group began its operation in June 2012. The goal of this group is to define an “entry level” set of RESful APIs to develop simpler Linked Data Applications that may include large scale Enterprise Integration or Web Applications based on Linked Data. The Working Group has published a Last Call Working Draft for the Linked Data Platform 1.0 document.

The Semantic Web Health Care and Life Sciences Interest Group (HCLSIG) continues to be a primary forum for experts in this area, considering Semantic Web technologies for the management of biomedical data.

Upcoming Activity Highlights

The coming period should see the completion of RDF 1.1 and LDP.

The proposed Data Activity will encompass the work of the Semantic Web Actvity, merging it with the eGov Activity, and building on the two.

Members are invited to review the Data Activity and cast their vote by 24th November 2013.

Summary of Activity Structure:

GroupChairTeam ContactCharter
RDFa Working Group
Manu SpornyIvan HermanChartered until 30 September 2013
Semantic Web Coordination Group
Ivan HermanIvan HermanChartered until 28 February 2013
Semantic Web Health Care and Life Sciences Interest GroupCharles MeadEric Prud'hommeauxChartered until 31 August 2014
Semantic Web Interest GroupDan BrickleyIvan HermanChartered until 28 February 2014
RDF Working Group
David Wood, Guus SchreiberIvan Herman, Sandro HawkeChartered until 31 December 2013
Linked Data Platform (LDP) Working Group
Arnaud Le HorsEric Prud'hommeaux, Yves LafonChartered until 1 June 2014

This Activity Statement was prepared for TPAC 2013 per section 5 of the W3C Process Document. Generated from group data.

Ivan Herman, Semantic Web Activity Lead

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