Saturday, March 29, 2014

W3 CSV on the Web Working Group publishes working drafts

The W3c Data Activity's CSV on the Web Working Group published two first public working drafts. One provides a basic data model for tabular data and metadata and the other describes use cases and requirements derived from them.

Model for Tabular Data and Metadata on the Web

Tabular data is routinely transferred on the web as "CSV", but the definition of "CSV" in practice is very loose. This document outlines a basic data model or infoset for tabular data and metadata about that tabular data. It also contains some non-normative information about a best practice syntax for tabular data, for mapping into that data model, to contribute to the standardisation of CSV syntax by IETF. Various methods of locating metadata are also provided.

CSV on the Web: Use Cases and Requirements

A large percentage of the data published on the Web is tabular data, commonly published as comma separated values (CSV) files. The CSV on the Web Working Group aim to specify technologies that provide greater interoperability for data dependent applications on the Web when working with tabular datasets comprising single or multiple files using CSV, or similar, format. This document lists the use cases compiled by the Working Group that are considered representative of how tabular data is commonly used within data dependent applications. The use cases observe existing common practice undertaken when working with tabular data, often illustrating shortcomings or limitations of existing formats or technologies. This document also provides a set of requirements derived from these use cases that have been used to guide the specification design.

Friday, March 28, 2014

JWS preprint: API-Centric Linked Data Integration: the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform Case Study

Paul Thomas Groth, Antonis Loizou, Alasdair J. G. Gray, Carole Goble, Lee Harland and Steve Pettifer, API-Centric Linked Data Integration: the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform Case Study, Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web, to appear, 2014.

Data integration is a key challenge faced in pharmacology where there are numerous heterogenous databases spanning multiple domains (e.g., chemistry and biology). To address this challenge, the Open PHACTS consortium has developed the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform that leverages Linked Data to provide integrated access to pharmacology databases. Between its launch in April 2013 and March 2014, the platform has been accessed over 13.5 million times and has multiple applications that integrate with it. In this work, we discuss how Application Programming Interfaces can extend the classical Linked Data Application Architecture to facilitate data integration. Additionally, we show how the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform implements this extended architecture.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Web's 25th anniversary

Greeting from Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee on the Web's 25th anniversary

Tim Berners-Lee invites everyone to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Web and to join the activities organized by the World Wide Web Consortium and World Wide Web Foundation in 2014 and beyond to address some of the threats to the future of the Web. As Berners-Lee says, "Together we have built an amazing Web. But we still have a lot to do so that the Web remains truly for everyone." For more information about Web25 activities, visit