W3C breaks language barrier to Semantic Web

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has detailed the release of working drafts of its Web Ontology Language (OWL) to enable...

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has detailed the release of working drafts of its Web Ontology Language (OWL) to enable development of the Semantic Web.

The Semantic Web is intended to enable more structured, intelligent processes on the Internet, allowing, for example, the automatic lookup of flights and hotel information after a person confirms attendance at a meeting in a specific city.

W3C spokesman Ian Jacobs, said, "The whole idea of the Semantic Web is when you say something, I need to know what you're talking about. The idea is we want computers to know things."

He described development of the Web Ontology Language as being in its early stages.

OWL is being designed by the W3C Web Ontology Working Group. The intention is to provide a language that can be used for applications that need to understand content, instead of just human-readable presentation of content, according to W3C.

As part of the Semantic Web, XML, RDF, and RDF-S support boost machine readability by providing a vocabulary for term descriptions.

The three working drafts released by W3C are entitled Feature Synopsis, Abstract Syntax, and Language Reference.

W3C this week also released a working draft of its Web Services Architecture Usage Scenarios collection, which is intended to provide usage cases and scenarios for generation of Web services.

Scenarios include situations such as travel agent use case or EDI-like purchasing. "[W3C officials are] documenting the extent of the Web services architecture," Jacobs said. "By looking at scenarios they will establish what they intend or don't intend to cover."

The draft can be found at www.w3.org/TR/2002/WD-ws-arch-scenarios-20020730.

On 26 August the W3C is holding an event entitled, "Forum on Security Standards for Web Services" in the US.

At this event, which is to be part of the XML Web Services One Conference & Expo, relationships will be explored between W3C and OASIS Web services and security specifications.

OASIS is co-sponsoring the event.

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