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Read Write Web Community Group

The activity of this group is to apply Web standards to trusted read and write operations.

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Read Write Web — Q1 Summary — 2016


The start of this year has seen a much the discussions on read write technology, move from the mailing list, to specific repos, issue trackers, and, particularly, gitter chatrooms.  Most of the work that I have noticed has been focused around the Solid standard.

An interesting new Linked Data project called, GIESER, kicked off in March, described as, “an open cloud-based platform for integrating geospatial data with sensor data from cyberphysical systems based on semantic and Big Data technologies.”  Openlink also announced the release of their JavaScript based RDF Editor.

Discussion in the group ticked up slightly, but most of work has been focused on implementations of servers, libraries and apps.

Communications and Outreach

The Qatar Research and Computing institute (QCRI) was paid a visit and continue to support the development of read and write standards on the web, particularly crosscloud and solid and their own app platform, meccano.

There was a successful hack day at MIT, and new interest in read write apps, with also a short tutorial used to show attendees how to write a pastebin app.  For those interested in hacking on read write apps, please join us on gitter every Friday for a coding session, where we try to come up with new and interesting ideas.


Community Group

We welcome Dmitri Zagidulin to the group, who has started working full time with the team at MIT on Solid (and doing an amazing job!).  On the mailing list, there was some discussion based around “Solid Cookies“, and about connecting two LDP servers together.



The Solid specification continues to improve, in order to cater for a growing set of applications.  It has now been organized into a number of smaller self-contained specifications.  Some work has been done on authentication, and discovery methods have been documented for inbox, storage and application type registries.

On the server side we have seen a lot of work go into maturing the javascript solid server, ldnode.  And on the client library side solid.js has also added new features and documentation.   In addition, a tutorial has been added for rdflib.js

Some new apps have been added, or started, mostly still in early stages.  Two of the apps I created during hack days are, 2048, the popular puzzle game, and a simple markdown editor that saves files to Solid storage.  Briefly, Zagel is the start of a chat app, work has begun on a Solid welcome app and a Solid Signup system has been created.  More apps have been created in the form of, contactorator a contacts app, simple slideshow integrated into tabulator, errol which is notifications for Solid inboxes, midichlorian a tool for fetching files from Solid servers.


Last but not Least…

Interesting food for thought.  Kuzzle describes itself as an :

open-source back-end solution for various applications. It combines a high level API, a database, a real-time engine, subscription and notification mechanisms as well as some advanced search features. The API is accessible through several standard protocols.

Read Write Web — Q4 Summary — 2015


A quiet end to the year in terms of discussions, but lots of work going on in implementations.  Perhaps this is a sign that read write standards for the web are entering a maturation process and 2016 will be a year of using them to see what they can do.

Many of the participants of this group attended TPAC 2015, in Sapporo Japan, and it was by all accounts it was a very exciting experience, with the W3C moving towards working groups in Payments, among other things.  A good wrapup of W3C data activity included: data on the web best practices, spatial data and CSV.

Most of the activity I noticed this quarter was oriented towards the maturing Solid specification, which has been reorganized into logical sections (thanks Amy!) and I’ve presented is a small gitbook.

Communications and Outreach

Presentations on read write standards were given at the redecentralize conference.  One video is available here and all the talks on the Solid platform are now in a github archive.


Community Group

A quiet quarter on the mailing list, as I think more people are devoting time to implementations, perhaps 2016 could be a good chance for feedback as to which items the group would like to focus on.  There was also one interesting post on open badges.



Work on applications has picked up considerably this quarter, with much of the focus on client side javascript apps for the Solid platform.  A great new library for building Solid apps is available now and called, solid.js.  Additionally I have tried to put together some basic tutorials for getting started with apps.

Two great apps built using this library are called solid-inbox and plume.  Solid-inbox is a tool to let you see the items in your “inbox” which is an area that users have designed for notifications.  Plume, a pet blogging project, allows you to create rudimentary blogs on using Solid standards.

A new tool for writing Solid documents,, is progressing well.  Originally designed to author academic papers, it is becoming more generic to allow any kind of document to be authored using linked data.

Signup and identity providers have been improved and it is now possible to add your own identity provider to create a more diverse system of decentralized web identity.  This can be done by running one of the Solid servers on your own machine, or by creating your own fork!

More great work from openlink in the form the structured data sniffer which turns much of the existing web into structured data.

I’ve been personally working on an proof of concept, alpha version of a social network that implements Solid called,  Some rough notes also accompany the site, that provide some screenshots and hopefully an idea of the direction things can go.  Other than that, some basic command line utilities for reading and writing, were also written in the form of rdf-shell.


Last but not Least…

A new startup supporting decentralized read write technology co-operating systems was launched.  From the site:

“We envision a web where we can use applications tailor-made for each of us. These applications will navigate linked data seamlessly across organisational boundaries. They will allow us to choose where to host our information, with whom we share it, and how we identify ourselves. This will create a distributed social web which will foster innovative ideas, help transform them into projects and allow us to share resources securely.”

Looking forward to further updates on this work!

Read Write Web — Q3 Summary — 2015


A relatively quiet quarter in world of (read-write) web standards.  Generally my impression is that the emphasis is shifting more towards implementation, with most of the hard parts of design out, now of the way.  Andrei gave a great presentation at the re-decentralize web conference in Brazil.

There was quite a bit of discussion regarding decentralized identity, same origin policy and public / private key provisioning in the browser.  In particular, the KEYGEN element was looked at, with some wanting to deprecate it.  However, it was established that it’s still in use and would not be deprecated just yet, hopefully something better will soon be available.

More work this month on the SoLiD platform, apps (see below), some discussion on PKI, trust and reputation systems, on the web.  MIT / Crosscloud are also going to continue their great work and announced they are hiring two developers.  Please take a look if interested.

Communications and Outreach

There was some more discussions with the Social Web Working Group.  There was great news as it was announced that Sarven Capadisli and Amy Guy would be joining MIT with some more good work in this area.

Community Group

The SoLiD framework now has it’s own logo and area on github.  There was a short discussion regarding creating a decentralized a web of trust.  Based on this I put together some tools to convert public keys between formats and use them to encrypt, decrypt and sign messages.  We also started a wiki page for getting started with the SoLiD framework.



Some steady work this month on applications.  To illustrate different aspects of development with the SoLiD platform I put together a short series of apps, each created in under 24 hours.  The first was a hello world app, then a clipboard, a video display app, a simple chess game and a data explorer.

Lots of work was completed on ldnode, gold and rdflib.  And also the start of an excellent realtime collaboration pad by timbl, which has turned out to be very useful already!


Last but not Least…

More great work from openlink as they prepare to release to production an excellent generic linked data document reader and editor.  Feel free to give it a try, preferably using your own data space!

Read Write Web — Q2 Summary — 2015


Q2 was a relatively quiet, yet has seen quite a bit of progress.  Some work is being done on the EU INSPIRE directive and ESWC took place in Slovenia with some interesting demos.  One that caught the eye was QueryVOWL, a visual query language, for linked data.

For those that enjoy such things, there was some interesting work and discussion on deterministic naming of blank nodes.  Also a neat new framework called Linked Data Reactor, which can be used for developing component based applications.  The web annotation group has also published an Editor’s draft.

Much of the work that has been done in this group has come together in a new spec, SoLiD (Social Linked Data).  As an early adopter of this technology I have been extraordinarily impressed, and would encourage trying it out.  There has also been a proposed charter for the next version of the Linked Data Platform.

Communications and Outreach

A few of this group met with the Social Web Working Group in Paris.  Over two days we got to demo read write technologies in action, and also to see the work from members of the indieweb community and those working with the Activity Streams specification.

Community Group

Relatively quiet this quarter on the mailing list with about 40 posts.  I get the impression that more focus has shifted to implementations and applications, where I think there is starting to be an uptick in progress.  Some ontologies have been worked on, one for SoLiD apps, and another for micrblogging.



The first release of a contacts manager on the SoLiD platform came out this month.  Which allows you to set up and store your own personal address book, in your own storage.  An interesting feature of this app is that it includes logic for managing workspaces and preferences.  Import and export is currently targeted to vcard, but more will be added, or simply fork the app and and your own!

Lots of work has been done on the linkeddata github area.  General improvements and some preliminary work on a keychain app.  One feature that I have found useful was the implementation of HTTP PATCH sending notifications to containers when something has changed.  This helped me create a quick demo for to show how it’s possible to cycle through a set of images and have them propagate through the network as things change.


Last but not Least…

The Triple Pattern fragments client was released and is able to query multiple APIs for data at the same time.  This is a 100% client side app and supports federated SPARQL queries.  Another great open source app, you can read the specification or dive into the source code here.

Read Write Web — Q1 Summary — 2015


2015 is to shaping up be the year that standards for reading and writing, and the web in general, start to be put together into, next generation, systems and applications.  Quite a comprehensive review post, contains much of what is being looked forward to.

The Spatial Data on the Web working group was announced and the EU funded Aligned project also kicked off.

Congratulations to the Linked Data Platform working group, who achieved REC status this quarter, after several years of hard work.  Having spent most of the last three month testing various implementations, I’m happy to say it has greatly exceeded my already high expectations.

Communications and Outreach

A number of read write web standards and apps were demoed at the W3C Social Web Working group F2F, hosted by MIT.  This seems to have gone quite well and resulted in the coining of a new term “SoLiD” — Social Linked Data!  Apps based on the Linked Data Platform have been considered as part of the work of this group.


Community Group

A relatively quiet quarter in the community group, tho still around 60 posts on our mailing list.  There is much interest on the next round of work that will be done with the LDP working group.  Some work has been done on login and signup web components for WebID, websockets and a relaunch of WebIDRealm.



Lots of activity on the apps front.  Personally I’ve been working using GOLD, but for also announced was the release of Virtuoso 7.2 for those that like a feature rich enterprise solution.

Making use of the experimental pub sub work with websockets, I’ve started to work on a chat application.  A profile reader and editor allows you to create and change your profile.  I’ve continued to work on a decentralized virtual wallet and props goes out to timbl who in his vanishingly small amounts of spare time has been working on a scheduler app.


Last but not Least…

For those of you that like the web, like documentation, like specs and like academic papers, all four have been wrapped into one neat package with the announcement of linked open research.  It’s a great way to document work and create templates for upstream delivery.  Hover over the menu in the top right and see many more options.  I’m looking forward to using this to try to bridge the gap between the worlds of documentation, the web, and research.

Read Write Web — Q4 Summary — 2014


The web ponders moving further towards SSL, with the W3C TAG publishing a draft finding on how this could be more easily achieved.  There was a great review by the EFF on progress, as well as some interesting suggestions by timbl.

Linked data continues it’s inexorable march towards the mainstream with steady progress throughout the quarter and whole year.  Some good reviews are available here, here, and here.  With a look forward to what we may see in 2015.  A cool ontology viewer called VOWL also caught the eye.

There were some more discussion regarding the HTTP PATCH verb and how it applies to data, with specs and implementations reaching readiness.  A comprehensive wishlist covering much of the future of LDP and RWW was posted by Sandro, as well as a new authentication system, called SPOT (Simple Page-Owner Token).

Communications and Outreach

Henry Story delivered an outstanding presentation at Scala eXchange conference in London, where he outlined the current state of play of the read write web and decentralized social web.  An overview of the project is available on github, as well as source code.

Some conversations took place in the identity credentials group and open badges  which aims to allow writing of achievements, via badges, on servers, in images and data structures, and using digital signatures.


Community Group

The LDP Patch specification is now reaching readiness and I believe the integration into GOLD is going to happen as we speak. GOLD has also now integrated JSON LD.

Community group has added a slack instance, which allows slightly more realtime chat, an API and many other features.

A stub wiki page has been added on the concept of “nanotations“, linking to Kingley’s blog explanation, feel free to add your own examples!


Some initial work has started on intelligent personal assistants.  Juergen has written a sioc bot which is able to take real time conversations and convert them to linked data.  Leveraging adapters in hubot the code is available on git and was up and running in just a couple of days.

I’ve also been working on a linked data robot that allows simple transfer of credit (aka marking) from one URI to another.  The hope is to build out a linked data based transfer and reputation system.  A slightly related side project I’ve started is virtual wallet, which will allow holding of web currencies and transfer between WebIDs, much more standards work to be done here…


Last but not Least…

An interesting system called webhose has been launched.  “The API – Easily integrate data from hundreds of thousands of global online sources: message boards & forums, blogs, comments, reviews, news and more”.  Seems like a neat bridge to pull into your apps news from many web2.0 data sources!

Read Write Web — Q3 Summary — 2014


The schedule for ISWC 2014 in Trentino, Italy has been announced.  A packed program was under way with a seemingly increasing number of mature demos.  MIT / DIG will present an excellent paper, entitled, “CIMBA – Client-Integrated MicroBlogging Architecture“.

A massive amount of work has come together under the EU funded, LOD2 banner, which has now been renamed to Linked Data Stack.  Far too much to pack into one blog post, but an excellent overview is available under Open Access, called, “Linked Open Data — Creating Knowledge Out of Interlinked Data“.  Congrats to everyone involved!

Linked Data Platform Best Practices and Guidelines” has been published as a note, and looks like a great guide for how to get the most out of reading and writing data on the web.  Additionally, the “Data Shapes” WG has got under way which aims to provide for web data what XML Schema provided for XML.

Communications and Outreach

Our members continue to work closely with the Linked Data Platform Working Group.  There has been continued work on Access Control, Linked Data PATCH and more implementations.

Personally, I have spent the last month reviewing and working with the bitmark project.  Which hopes to bring together the best ideas from REST, Linked Data and crypto currencies in order to bring reputation and transferable ratings to the web, in a way that can also federate existing walled gardens.  Still only two months old, an impressive amount of work has been done with much more in the pipeline.  An update on this work is available here.


Community Group

A relatively quiet quarter in the community group, but still averaging about one post a day.  Interop tests have got under way between CIMBA and Virtuoso.  Results are documented here, hopefully many more to follow!

The Web Credentials Community Group has got under way and is another effort to standardize identity, access control, personae etc.  Hopefully work will align to produce interoperable solutions.



A free software linked data file manager, named WARP, has been released, with demo available here.  Additionally a very fast Linked Data Platform application has been written in the Go language (GOLD) and is available on Github or via a docker image.



Last but not Least…

A great post how the popular CMS system Drupal, is “Deepening its Semantic Web Ties“, including comments from Community Group member, Stéphane Corlosquet.  Drupal powers over 5 million web properties, so is a great vehicle for proliferation of content management, using read and write web standards.

Read Write Web — Q2 Summary — 2014


WWW 2014 kicked off in Korea with some interesting material presented.  Two that caught my eye were, “Trust in Social Computing” and “The Mobile Semantic Web“.  The first one may be particularly related to our merger with the Trust CG last year.  Feel free to browse the slides and much more that are available online.

Linked data have announced a Data on the Web Best Practices Working Group, with the publication of The Use Case & Requirements document, as a first milestone.  MIT Decentralized Information Group have announced a interesting project HTTPa (HTTP with Accountability), details here.

The RWW CG has had some interesting discussions with a slight uptick in mail list activity,  from about 1 post per day last quarter, to 2 posts per day this quarter.  I’ll try and summarize some of the more interesting topics below.

Communications and Outreach

Work has continued with the The Linked Data Platform Working Group who are getting close to publishing their final spec.  Of particular interest is some work that is starting related to Access Control, with the outline of a charter for an Access Control Working Group.

The Web Payments Community Group have done some work on tying credentials to identity and allowing reading and writing to those documents.  A blog post describing the pros and cons with a full demo is available here.


Community Group

A collection of very interesting work was announced by Thomas Bergwinkl, codenamed, LDApp.  It is a full LD stack in javascript, including, Universal Access Control, an extension to RDF Interfaces, JSON LD support, and much more!

Apart from this, lots of libraries received work, including, ldp4j (java), GOLD (go) and node-rdf (node-js).



Decentralized identity and authentication was showcased, using a single access controlled image, which enabled you to login with a huge variety of web 1.0/2.0/3.0 methods.  See the demo here.

A chrome extension to webizen was released.  YouID for android and IOS was also put live and a boilerplate for creating RWW apps was also built, this quarter.  Additionally, I have done some more work on creating test currency for the RWW.




Last but not Least…

Best wishes to Tim Berners-Lee, the person who started the whole Read Write Web idea, in his marriage to Rosemary Leith. Congratulations!

Read Write Web — Q1 Summary — 2014


This month The Web celebrated its 25th birthday.  Celebrating on web25 Tim Berners-Lee poses 3 important questions.  1. How do we connect the nearly two-thirds of the planet who can’t yet access the Web?   2. Who has the right to collect and use our personal data, for what purpose and under what rules?  3. How do we create a high-performance open architecture that will run on any device, rather than fall back into proprietary alternatives?  Join the discussion at the web we want campaign and perhaps we can help make the web more interactive and more read/write.

Two important technologies became W3C RECs this month, the long awaited JSON LD and RDF 1.1.  Well done to everyone involved on reaching these milestones.

This community group reaches 2.5 years old.  Congrats to our co-chair Andrei Sambra who has moved over to work with Tim, Joe and team at MIT.  Some work on identity, applications and libraries has moved forward this quarter, more below!

Communications and Outreach

In Paris this month there was a well attended workshop on Web Payments.  The group hopes to take a set of specs to REC status including some on identity credentials and access controlled, reading and writing, of user profiles.

Andrei had a productive talk with Frank Karlitschek the creator of the popular personal data store, OwnCloud.  Hopefully, it is possible to mutually benefit by reusing some of the ideas created in this group.

Community Group

There’s been some updated software for our W3C CG blogging platform, so anyone that wishes to make a post related to read and write web standards ping Andrei or myself, or just dive in!

There’s been some useful contributions to rdflib.js and a new library which proposes the ‘pointed graph’ idea.  I’ve also taken feedback on the User Header discussions we have had and put them in a wiki page.  Additionally, the WebID specs now have a permanent home.

There have also been discussions on deeplinking / bookmarkability for single page apps.  I’ve also been working on an ontology for crypto currencies which I am hoping to integrate into the RWW via a tipping robot next quarter.



Great work from the guys over at MIT with a new decentralized blogging platform, Cimba.  Cimba is also a 100% client side app, it can run on a host, on github, or even on your local file system.  Feel free to sign up and start some channels, or just take a look at the screencast.

In addition to Cimba, Webizen has been launched to help you search for connections more easily.  Search for friends on the decentralized social web, or add your own public URI.


Last but not least…

For those of you that enjoy SPARQL, Linked Data Fragments, presents new ways to query linked data via a web client.  This tool is designed to provide a ‘fragment’ of a whole data set with high reliability, so happy SPARQLing!

Read Write Web — Monthly Open Thread — (November 2013)


TPAC 2013 got under way in Shenzhen, China, this month.  The RWW group didn’t have a session this year, as not too many from the group were able to travel, however, hopefully we’ll have a room in next year’s event.

Five star Linked Data in JSON got one step closer, as JSON LD moves to candidate recommendation.  Additionally, RDF 1.1 JSON Alternate Serialization was released as a note.  An interesting report my McKinsey’s was published showing that Open Data can unlock 3 to 5 trillion dollars in value each year.

Congratulations to our co-chair, Andrei Sambra, who successfully defended his PhD thesis on “Data ownership and Interop. in Decentralized Social SemWeb”.  There was also some interesting discussion this month on advanced used of ACLs.

Communications and Outreach

Henry Story and Andrei Sambra, among others, were at a well attended 4 day workshop in Paris, hosted by Mozilla, entitled “Weave the web we want”.

Some of you may be interested by the interview I gave to the lod2 group.  I tried to talk about the advantages of read and write linked data as well as pointers to this, and other, community groups.

Community Group

The community group welcomes new joiners, from Stony Brook University and Stample.

There was some interesting discussions on ACLs this month, with advanced features explored such as regular expressions and cross origin resource sharing.  With also the idea of generic ACLs explored.


YouID, featured last month, is now available in both the IOS and Android app stores.  Congrats on bringing the goodness of linked data identity to the two biggest mobile platforms.

Last but not least…

Gmail.js – JavaScript API for Gmail seemed to be an interesting read and write technology that could augment the popular Gmail web service.  It may a valuable future exercise to try and combine a webmail server and client side javascript to make create new kinds of social experience.