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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Call for Participation: W3C Workshop on the Next Steps for RDF

W3C is organizing a Workshop on the Next Steps for RDF around June,2010 as described in the Call for Participation. The deadline forposition papers is 29-March-2010. Each participant in the workshop mustbe associated with a position paper. W3C membership is not requiredto participate in the Workshop.

The goal of the workshop is to gather feedback from the Web communityon whether and, if yes, in which direction RDF should evolve. One ofthe main issues the Workshop should help deciding is whether it istimely for W3C to start a new RDF Working Group to define and standardizea next version of RDF.

While a new version of RDF may include changes in terms of features,semantics, and serialization syntax(es), backward compatibility is ofa paramount importance. Indeed, RDF has been deployed by tools andapplications, and the last few years have seen a significant uptake ofSemantic Web technologies and publication of billions of triples stemmingfrom public databases (see, eg, the Linked Open Data community). Itwould be, therefore, detrimental to this evolution if RDF was seen asunstable and if the validity of current application would be jeopardizedby a future evolution. As a consequence, with any changes of RDF,backward compatibility requirements should be formalized..."

Background: "The Resource Description Framework (RDF), including thegeneral concepts, its semantics, and an XML Serialization (RDF/XML),have been published in 2004. Since then, RDF has become the corearchitectural block of the Semantic Web, with a significant deploymentin terms of tools and applications. As a result of the R&D activitiesand the publication of newer standards like SPARQL, OWL, POWDER, orSKOS, but also due to the large scale deployment and applications, anumber of issues regarding RDF came to the fore. Some of those arerelated to features that are not present in the current version of RDFbut which became necessary in practice (e.g., the concept of NamedGraphs). Others result from the difficulties caused by the designdecisions taken in the course of defining the 2004 version of RDF (e.g.,restrictions whereby literals cannot appear as subjects). Definitionof newer standards have also revealed difficulties when applying thesemantics of RDF (e.g., the exact semantics of blank nodes for RIF andOWL, or the missing connection between URI-s and the RDF resourcesnamed by those URI-s for POWDER). New serializations formats (e.g., Turtle)have gained a significant support by the community, while thecomplications in RDF/XML syntax have created some difficulties in practiceas well as in the acceptance of RDF by a larger Web community. Finally,at present there is no standard programming API to manage RDF data;the need may arise to define such a standard either in a general,programming language independent way or for some of the importantlanguages (Javascript/ECMAscript, Java, Python, etc)..." More Info

1 comment:

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