XML News from Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The W3C Working Group has published a new working draft of Protocol for Web Description Resources (POWDER): Description Resources.

The Protocol for Web Description Resources (POWDER) facilitates the publication of descriptions of multiple resources such as all those available from a Web site. These descriptions are always attributed to a named individual, organization or entity that may or may not be the creator of the described resources. This contrasts with more usual metadata that typically applies to a single resource, such as a specific document's title, which is usually provided by its author.

This document sets out how Description Resources (DRs) can be created and published, whether individually or as bulk data, how to link to DRs from other online resources, and, crucially, how DRs may be authenticated and trusted. The aim is to provide a platform through which opinions, claims and assertions about online resources can be expressed by people and exchanged by machines. POWDER has evolved from the data model developed for the final report [XGR] of the Web Content Label Incubator Group [WCL-XG] from which we define a Description Resource as: "a resource that contains a description, a definition of the scope of the description and assertions about both the circumstances of its own creation and the entity that created it."

The method of defining the scope of a DR, that is, defining what is being described, is provided in a separate document: Grouping of Resources [GROUP]. Companion documents describe the RDF/OWL vocabulary [VOC] and XML data types [WDRD] that are derived from the Grouping of Resources document and this document, with each term's domain, range and constraints defined. As each term is introduced in this document, it is linked to its description in the vocabulary document.