Wednesday 01 August 2007
Alistair Miles of e-Science was one of the authors of the SIOC Core Ontology Specification submitted to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as the first stage in the formal standardisation process.
SIOC (Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities) provides the main concepts and properties required to describe information from online communities (e.g., message boards, wikis, weblogs, etc.) on the Semantic Web. There are already a number of tools, browser extensions, special browsers, etc, that are built around the SIOC concepts. If SIOC is widely adopted it will enable interoperability between online communities using Web 2.0 tools. Such interoperability would support the interaction of different research teams and ease interdisciplinary research where different projects or disciplines use different terminology which becomes a barrier to collaborative working.
The W3C Team Comment made on behalf of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the Director of W3C, was that "the SIOC vocabulary is a useful component of the Semantic Web" but that "W3C itself normally refrains from standardizing vocabularies or ontologies for specific application areas unless they have foundational character" and although "it is not clear at the moment whether any W3C Working Group or Interest Group would consider SIOC as part of its future work" knowing about SIOC and, more importantly, referring to it from other vocabularies (including those developed by W3C Working or Interest Groups) is certainly appropriate. In this respect having a stable SIOC specification as part of a W3C Submission is extremely helpful."
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