W3C unveils Semantic Web Activity
00:20, 12 Feb 2001 UTC | Edd Dumbill

The W3C have officially commenced an Activity to pursue the vision of the Semantic Web, under the leadership of Eric Miller.

The commencement of this activity answers long-held questions about the status of the Semantic Web at the W3C--whether it was just a personal vision of Tim Berners-Lee, or whether it was something behind which development resource would be placed.

This move seems to resolve this question. The Semantic Web Activity is the successor to the Metadata Activity, and inherits the RDF work--amalgamated to a new, single, RDF Core working group. As well as Eric Miller, who moves from the OCLC where he was heavily involved in Dublin Core work, the new Activity has added Brian McBride as co-chair of the RDF Core WG with existing RDF Interest Group chair, Dan Brickley. McBride is author of several RDF software packages, including the Jena RDF API for Java.

Now the Semantic Web is on an official footing, those interested can look to the W3C for the official word on what it is. From the new SW Activity page:

The Semantic Web is a vision: the idea of having data on the web defined and linked in a way that it can be used by machines not just for display purposes, but for automation, integration and reuse of data across various applications.

According to the new activity statement, the Semantic Web work at the W3C will pursue the following: continuing the work of the RDF Integrest Group (coordinating "implementation and deployment of RDF" and providing "liaison with new work in the W3C and the wider community on matters relating to RDF"), undertake revisions to the RDF Model and Syntax specification, complete RDF Schema, and co-ordinate with W3C and external activities focused on Semantic Web technologies. Finally, the Activity also has the objective of developing advanced XML and RDF technologies to "facilitate distributed collaboration with a specific intent to increase the level of automation of the W3C Web site and to develop open-source RDF infrastructure support modules."


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