Posts Tagged ‘Manu Sporny’
Today the Web celebrates its 25th birthday, and we celebrate the Semantic Web’s role in that milestone. And what a milestone it is: As of this month, the Indexed Web contains at least 2.31 billion pages, according to WorldWideWebSize.
The Semantic Web Blog reached out to the World Wide Web Consortium’s current and former semantic leads to get their perspective on the roads The Semantic Web has traveled and the value it has so far brought to the Web’s table: Phil Archer, W3C Data Activity Lead coordinating work on the Semantic Web and related technologies; Ivan Herman, who last year transitioned roles at the W3C from Semantic Activity Lead to Digital Publishing Activity Lead; and Eric Miller, co-founder and president of Zepheira and the leader of the Semantic Web Initiative at the W3C until 2007.
While The Semantic Web came to the attention of the wider public in 2001, with the publication in The Scientific American of The Semantic Web by Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler and Ora Lassila, Archer points out that “one could argue that the Semantic Web is 25 years old,” too. He cites Berners-Lee’s March 1989 paper, Information Management: A Proposal, that includes a diagram that shows relationships that are immediately recognizable as triples. “That’s how Tim envisaged it from Day 1,” Archer says.
The W3C announced today that three specifications have reached recommendation status:
RDFa 1.1 Core – Second Edition
XHTML+RDFa 1.1 – Second Edition
As the W3C website explains, “The last couple of years have witnessed a fascinating evolution: while the Web was initially built predominantly for human consumption, web content is increasingly consumed by machines which expect some amount of structured data. Sites have started to identify a page’s title, content type, and preview image to provide appropriate information in a user’s newsfeed when she clicks the ‘Like’ button. Search engines have started to provide richer search results by extracting fine-grained structured details from the Web pages they crawl. In turn, web publishers are producing increasing amounts of structured data within their Web content to improve their standing with search engines.”
“A key enabling technology behind these developments is the ability to add structured data to HTML pages directly. RDFa (Resource Description Framework in Attributes) is a technique that allows just that: it provides a set of markup attributes to augment the visual information on the Web with machine-readable hints. ”
Manu Sporny, the editor of the HTML+RDFa 1.1 specification, told us that, “The release of RDFa 1.1 for HTML5 establishes it as the first HTML-based Linked Data technology to achieve recognition as an official Web standard by the World Wide Web Consortium.” Read more
Danny Bradbury of our sister site, CoinDesk, recently wrote about Manu Sporny‘s presentation at the recent Inside Bitcoins Conference. Bradbury writes, “A representative working loosely with the Web’s standards body set out his vision for a web-based payments standard at the Inside Bitcoins conference today. Manu Sporny, who works with the World Wide Web consortium (W3C), is part of a working group on Web Payments. He advocated a standard payment mechanism that would be currency-agnostic, and which would do away with traditional online payment methods such as entering credit card data, or making electronic payments which proprietary networks such as PayPal. ‘Credit card numbers are effectively passwords to your bank account. You’re giving that password away to every merchant you do business with,’ said Sporny.” Read more
Another announcement by Google this week – one that didn’t get quite as much play as the launch at I/O of Google Play Music All Access and improvements to its search, map and Google + services – was this: Support for JSON-LD markup in Gmail.
Manu Sporny, who has been instrumental in JSON-LD’s development and is one of the authors of the draft, heralds the news here in his blog, noting that it means that Gmail now will be able to recognize people, places, events and a variety of other Linked Data objects, and that actions may be taken on the Linked Data objects embedded in an e-mail. “For example, if someone sends you an invitation to a party, you can do a single-click response on whether or not you’ll attend a party right from your inbox. Doing so will also create a reminder for the party in your calendar,” he writes.
The news was greeted with enthusiasm on a W3C JSON LD message round, as, as Sporny describes it, “pretty big validation of the technology.”
While noting that Google followed the standard closely, Sporny does point out some issues with the implementation – including a major one that Google isn’t using the JSON-LD @context parameter correctly in its markup examples:
Today sees the launch of Meritora, the first commercial implementation of the universal payment standard PaySwarm (initially discussed in this blog here and here). The creation of Digital Bazaar, the company founded and CEO’d by Manu Sporny – whose W3C credentials include being founder of both the Web Payments Community Group and JSON-LD Community Group, as well as chair of the RDF Web Applications Working Group – Meritora is designed to ease what is still a surprisingly arduous task of buying and selling on the web. The service is starting with a simple asset hosting feature for helping vendors sell digital content on WordPress-powered sites, and support for decentralized web app stores so that app creators can put their work on their web sites, set a price for them, and let them be bought there, at a web app store, or anywhere on the web.
The name Meritora points to the service’s underlying purpose of rewarding greatness, coming from the bases ‘merit’ and ‘ora,’ the latter of which has been used across a number of cultures to express a unit of value, Sporny says (noting that it means ‘golden’ in Esperanto, and was also used as a unit of currency among Anglo-Saxons). That’s a big name to live up to, but the service hopes to do so by making Web payments work simply, securely, quickly, with low fees and no vendor lock-in for buyers and sellers on the digital content scene.
There’s Linked Data to thank for what Meritora, and PaySwarm, can do, with Sporny describing the system as “the world’s first payment solution where the core of the technology is powered by Linked Data.”
PaySwarm advocate Manu Sporny recently spoke to Tom Simonite about a web standard for online payment. Simonite writes, “Over the past few decades, a handful of open standards for rendering and sharing text and imagery between computers—better known as the World Wide Web—have helped upend businesses worldwide. But these Web standards do not cover ways of transferring money or selling content, leaving us to fumble for credit cards and PayPal account details when it’s time to cough up. That could be set to change. A group affiliated with the body that maintains Web standards hopes to establish an open standard for transferring money online. If the plan is successful, Web browsers could come with features that make it much easier to buy and sell things or transfer funds over the Internet.” Read more
Manu Sporny recently voiced his personal objection to the W3C microdata candidate recommendation. He writes, “The HTML Working Group at the W3C is currently trying to decide if they should transition the Microdata specification to the next stage in the standardization process. There has been a call for consensus to transition the spec to the Candidate Recommendation stage. From a standards perspective, this is a huge mistake and sends the wrong signal to Web developers everywhere. The problem is that we already have a set of specifications that are official W3C recommendations that do what Microdata does and more. RDFa 1.1 became an official W3C Recommendation last summer.”
Manu Sporny recently opined that RDF is facing a problem of perception similar to the problems faced by nuclear power. He writes, “The Resource Description Framework (a model for publishing data on the Web) has this horrible public perception akin to how many people in the USA view nuclear power. The coal industry campaigned quite aggressively to implant the notion that nuclear power was not as safe as coal. Couple this public misinformation campaign with a few nuclear-power-related catastrophes and it is no surprise that the current public perception toward nuclear power can be summarized as: ‘Not in my back yard’.” Read more
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