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


It was exactly ten years ago, that Richard MacManus wrote his seminal article entitled, ‘The Read/Write Web‘.   In a time when ‘weblogs’ were a new phenomenon, and Facebook and Twitter were but twinkles in their founder’s eyes, it’s very much worth reflecting on just how far the RWW has come in the last decade!

A new acronym, WYSIWYM, was coined with the announcement of the impressive markup tool, RDFaCE.  Watch the screencast to see ‘What You See Is What You Mean’, in action.

The big announcement of the month came from Manu Sporny who demonstrates the new Payswarm Linked Data Payments Protocol in action.  The whole suite includes many important solutions, such as identity, digital signing, key management, encryption and, of course, payments!

Communications and Outreach

There is been more interaction with the W3C payments group on the newly implemented payments protocol.  There was some discussion about using WebID as a decentralized identity system.  Essentially payswarm are already using HTTP URIs to denote an agent so there seems to be a close similarity.  Now we can tie these to PEM keys and allow signatures and encryption.  That is going to give many new options for identity, auth, secure payments and messaging.

There has also been some initial discussion with OASIS about using Access Control Lists with linked data.

Community Group

There has been some talk about extending the “from” header to allow anyURI as wells as the currently suggested email.  This has come up a few times in the past and could be a neat way to identify a user.  There is a firefox plugin which some people are using already.

A new protocol, Webmention, which is in its early stages, and allows federated commenting on blogs has had some buzz on the web.  It is also very similar to the semantic pingback protocol many systems use already.


The first commercial integration of linked data payment systems was launched in the form or ‘meritora‘.  The team behind it, digital bazaar, have also been driving forces in the payswarm, rdfa, json ld and webid efforts.  Great to see so many web scale technologies come together in a new system!

There was a look at Daniel Applequist’s integration to the internet of things and cosm to write his room temperature to the web in realtime.

Last but not least…

The German Wikimedia Foundation has announced that its Wikidata project has now been deployed on all language versions of Wikipedia and is ready for use around the world.  Wikidata – the first new Wikimedia project since 2006 – “provides a collaboratively edited database of the world’s knowledge”.  Congrats on this big milestone and reaching their 12 millionth linked data item!

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