Posts Tagged ‘Manu Sporny’

The Semantic Web’s Rocking, And There Ain’t No Stopping It Now

archerMake no mistake about it: The semantic web has been a success and that’s not about to stop now. That was essentially the message delivered by W3C Data Activity Lead Phil Archer, during his keynote address celebrating the semantic web’s ten years of achievement at last month’s Semantic Technology & Business Conference in San Jose.

After acknowledging that he’s heard it all about the semantic web being a failure, about it being rebranded as Linked Data and that being a failure too, he summed up those impressions in one distinctly British word: “Bollocks.” The list of successes ranged across the spectrum, from the use in federated data portals of the Data Catalog Vocabulary from the W3C’s Government Linked Data Working Group, to the 47-million triples strong Open Phacts pharmacology discovery platform, to all the job postings that come up on The Semantic Web Blog – including one recently for the J. Craig Venter Institute, named for the pioneer genomic researcher who sequenced the human genome, which is looking for a bioinformatics analyst with OWL expertise in his or her resume.

That’s just a taste of the many citations he offered of the semantic web’s successes to date, not least among them his own strong familiarity with Linked Data’s use in government, where the technologies, he said, are used “to make our government more efficient” by having one organization make an authoritative data set the others can link to to support data-sharing across agencies. (For the full view into Archer’s take on the semantic web’s successes, you can view the entire keynote here.)

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You Can Help Make Linked Data Core To The Future of Identity, Payment On The Web Platform

ld1At the end of September, The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) may approve the world’s first Web Payments Steering Group, to explore issues such as navigating around obstacles to seamless payments on the web and ways to better facilitate global transactions while respecting local laws. Identity and digital signatures have a role here, at the same time as they go beyond the realm of payment into privacy and other arenas. At the end of October, there also will be a W3C technical plenary, to discuss identity, graph normalization, digital signatures and payments technologies.

Expect Linked Data to come up in the context of both events, Manu Sporny told attendees at this August’s 10th annual Semantic Technology & Business conference in San Jose during his keynote address, entitled Building Linked Data Into the Core of the Web. “It is the foundational data model to build all this technology off of,” said Sporny, who is the founder and CEO of Digital Bazaar, which develops technology and services to make it easier to buy and sell digital content over the Internet. (See our stories about the company and its technology here.)  He also is founder and chair of the W3C Web Payments Community Group, chair of its RDFa Working Group, and founder, and chair and lead editor of the JSON-LD Community Group.

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The Web Is 25 — And The Semantic Web Has Been An Important Part Of It

web25NOTE: This post was updated at 5:40pm ET.

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.

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W3C Announces Three New RDFa Recommendations

World Wide Web Consortium logoThe W3C announced today that three specifications have reached recommendation status:

HTML+RDFa 1.1:
http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/REC-html-rdfa-20130822/

RDFa 1.1 Core – Second Edition
http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/REC-rdfa-core-20130822/

XHTML+RDFa 1.1 – Second Edition
http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/REC-xhtml-rdfa-20130822/

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

Manu Sporny Advocates for Web Payment Standard at Inside Bitcoins

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

Gmail, Meet JSON-LD

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.

The W3C in April published a Last Call Working Draft for JSON-LD 1.0 (JavaScript Object Notation for Linking Data), a lightweight Linked Data format to give data context. It has been shepherded along for some time by the JSON for Linked Data Community Group.

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:

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Meritora, First Commercial Implementation of Universal Payment Standard PaySwarm, Goes Live

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.”

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Manu Sporny on a Web Payment Standard

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

Should Microdata Become a W3C Standard?

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.”

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Manu Sporny Explains Linked Data & Why You Should Care

Bill Culifer of WebProfessionals.com recently shared an audio interview with web expert Manu Sporny. Culifer writes, “In this fourteen minute interview with Manu Sporny Founder, CEO of Digital Bazaar a leader in the democratization of finance and payments on the Web we learn about Linked Data and why Web professionals should care.” The interview covers: “The history of Linked Data; Tim Berners Lee vision for Linked Data. How data is locked in silos; How Linked Data aims to free the data; How Linked Data differs from the Semantic Web; Examples of Linked Data; Benefits of Linked Data and why Web professionals should care; Recommendations for Web Professionals and how to get started; Linked data plugins and tools; Linked Data resources and best practices; The importance of education and advocacy.” Read more

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