The CSVW Working Group has published three notes before closing

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The CSV on the Web Working group has published three Working Group Notes. These notes complement the set of Recommendations that have been published in December 2015: the generic Model and the Metadata Vocabulary for Tabular Data on the Web, as well as the conversion of tabular data to JSON and RDF. The three notes are as follows.

  1. The work of the Working Group started with a rich collection of Use Cases and Requirements. Those requirements played an essential role in defining various aspects of the technology; it is therefore fitting that, at the end of the Working Group’s life, one would assess how the results of the group compares to the original goals. The final Use Cases and Requirements Note completes therefore the earlier drafts by systematically going through all the listed requirements and documenting how that requirements are covered, or not, by the final Recommendations. The results are, actually, quite satisfactory: there are only a few initial requirements that could not be answered, or only partially; the vast majority are covered by the new Recommendations!
  2. Whereas the recommendations deal with CSV (or, more generally, tabular) data on the Web, primarily in terms of data files served through HTTP(S), it is clear that tables embedded in HTML files are also a significant source of tabular data on the Web. The note on Embedding Tabular Metadata in HTML specifies how to add metadata using the standard Metadata Vocabulary to such data as well, thereby covering an obviously very important use case. Covering this case was not part of the group’s original charter, so this proposal remains only a note; a possible future Working Group may pick this up and, based on usage experience, can then turn it into a bona fide Recommendation.
  3. Last be certainly not least, the Working Group has published a CSV on the Web Primer. While the specifications, beyond the systematic definition of all the features, also contain examples, they are nevertheless difficult to read and digest. In contrast, the Primer is a user facing document, organized around the specific questions and problems a user may have when specifying metadata for his/her CSV data. The WG hopes that this document will greatly help users to add metadata to their published without being lost in the arcane details of a formal specification. End users should certainly start here!

With the publication of these notes the CSV Working group has completed its chartered work and will be officially closed soon. However, recognizing that it is important to maintain an active community, a separate CSV on the Web Community Group has been set up, opened to everyone, where usage patterns, technical issues and questions, implementation experiences, etc., can be discussed. Although the Community Group is not in charge of changing the published document, it may still use the GitHub Repository of the (then defunct) Working Group to record further issues or add new documents if needed. Those may then be used by a possible new incarnation of the Working Group in a few years, which can be set up if the community and the W3C membership so desires. If you are interested in this area in general, do join the community group!

As a final touch: the WG has published seven documents altogether, which is quite a lot. If you are a digital book user, you can also download an EPUB version of the documents, that contains all 7 specifications and notes in one place…

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