Today, Tuesday 4 April, the ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, named Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web and Director of the World Wide Web Consortium, as the recipient of the 2016 ACM A.M. Turing Award.
The Turing award is recognized as the highest distinction in Computer Science and is sometimes referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Computing.” Sir Tim is being given this award for inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale. The Web is considered one of the most influential computing innovations in history.
Sir Tim’s development and guardianship of the building blocks of the Web, the standards upon which it is built upon, continues at W3C. Jeff Jaffe, CEO of W3C, stated: “The Web has had an immense impact on the world; transforming every part of society: how we communicate, how we learn, how we acquire information, and how we engage in commerce. Tim’s soaring vision of what was possible in the world is anchored on breakthrough contributions to computing – which is what is recognized by the Turing Award.”
For more information on the award, Sir Tim, and the W3C, see the W3C press release.
The Web Authentication Working Group Patent Advisory Group (PAG), launched in October 2016, has published a report recommending that W3C continue work on the Web Authentication Specification. W3C launches a PAG to resolve issues in the event a patent has been disclosed that may be essential, but is not available under the W3C Royalty-Free licensing terms.
The Spatial Data on the Web Working Group has published a Group Note of Spatial Data on the Web Best Practices. This document advises on best practices related to the publication and usage of spatial data on the Web; the use of Web technologies as they may be applied to location. The best practices are intended for practitioners, including Web developers and geospatial experts, and are compiled based on evidence of real-world application. These best practices suggest a significant change of emphasis from traditional Spatial Data Infrastructures by adopting a Linked Data approach. As location is often the common factor across multiple datasets, spatial data is an especially useful addition to the Linked Data cloud; the 5 Stars of Linked Data paradigm is promoted where relevant.
The Browser Testing and Tools Working Group invites implementation of the Candidate Recommendation of WebDriver. WebDriver is a remote control interface that enables introspection and control of user agents. It provides a platform and language-neutral wire protocol as a way for out-of-process programs to remotely instruct the behavior of web browsers as well as a set of interfaces to discover and manipulate DOM elements in web documents and to control the behavior of a user agent. It is primarily intended to allow web authors to write tests that automate a user agent from a separate controlling process, but may also be used in such a way as to allow in-browser scripts to control a possibly separate browser.
The Web Performance Working Group invites implementation of the Candidate Recommendation of Page Visibility Level 2. This specification defines a means to programmatically determine the visibility state of a document. This can aid in the development of resource efficient web applications.
The XML Query Working Group and the XSLT Working Group have published six documents as W3C Recommendations to strengthen JSON and Web Platform support through maps, arrays, new functions:
The 3.1 work extends XPath and XQuery with map and array data structures along with additional functions and operators for manipulating them; a primary motivation was to enhance JSON support.
XPath is a domain-specific language for identifying and extracting nodes from a tree (typically) built from XML or JSON and defined by the XQuery and XPath Data Model) and also an expression language with typed tree nodes and functions among the first-class objects. XPath expressions can call functions and use operators defined in the Functions and Operators
XQuery extends XPath to support complex joins, windowing, grouping and other operations across collections of trees that are potentially stored in high-performance indexed databases.
XQueryX is an XML representation of XQuery expressions.
The Serialization specification describes how results of XPath and XQuery(X) expressions can be delivered in HTML, XHTML, JSON, XML or text.
The HTML Media Extensions Working Group has published a Proposed Recommendation of Encrypted Media Extensions. The specification extends HTMLMediaElement to define a common API to control playback of protected content. EME does not define a content protection or Digital Rights Management system. The common API may be used to discover, select and interact with such systems as well as with simpler content encryption systems. Comments are welcome through 13 April. Please, read more in the public announcement.
The Web Payments Working Group Patent Advisory Group (PAG), launched in August 2016, has published a report recommending that W3C continue work on the Web Payments Specifications. W3C launches a PAG to resolve issues in the event a patent has been disclosed that may be essential, but is not available under the W3C Royalty-Free licensing terms.
Publishing@W3C champion Bill McCoy and W3C Fellow from CWI Dr. Ivan Herman will join an impressive line-up of speakers next week at the EPUB Summit, 9-10 March 2017 in Brussels, Belgium, hosted by W3C member EDRLab. The second such event, EPUB Summit will focus on the future direction of EPUB 3, now under W3C oversight following the combination with IDPF. Registration for the EPUB Summit is still open.
A technical expert in the field, Herman is part of the leadership team of Publishing@W3C as well as the overall Strategy team of W3C. Herman was recently appointed a W3C Fellow by CWI, Amsterdam, where he is a member of the Distributed and Interactive Systems research group. He played a seminal role in the combination of W3C and IDPF and has served as primary technical staff driver for the Digital Publishing at the W3C since inception in 2013. At the EPUB Summit Herman will talk about the IDPF/W3C combination, and the roadmap for upcoming technical work for the development of new standards in Publishing.
McCoy, former Executive Director for IDPF, will lead the closing session at the EPUB Summit, integrating the collective sessions and ideas into the roadmap for Publishing@W3C.