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W3C TAG Finding "The Self-Describing Web" has been published

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2009 12:27:31 -0500
To: public-tag-announce@w3.org, www-tag@w3.org
Cc: Ian@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF9861281E.9719BAB6-ON85257557.005E5A72-85257557.005FE80B@lotus.com>
I am pleased to announce that the W3C TAG has published a new Finding 
titled "The Self-Describing Web" [1]. 

The Web is designed to support flexible exploration of information by 
human users and by automated agents. For such exploration to be 
productive, information published by many different sources and for a 
variety of purposes must be comprehensible to a wide range of Web client 
software, and to users of that software. 
HTTP and other Web technologies can be used to deploy resource 
representations that are self-describing: information about the encodings 
used for each representation is provided explicitly within the 
representation. Starting with a URI, there is a standard algorithm that a 
user agent can apply to retrieve and interpret such representations. 
Furthermore, representations can be what we refer to as grounded in the 
Web, by ensuring that specifications required to interpret them are 
determined unambiguously based on the URI, and that explicit references 
connect the pertinent specifications to each other. Web-grounding ensures 
that the specifications needed to interpret information on the Web can be 
identified unambiguously. When such self-describing, Web-grounded 
resources are linked together, the Web as a whole can support reliable, ad 
hoc discovery of information. 
This finding describes how document formats, markup conventions, attribute 
values, and other data formats can be designed to facilitate the 
deployment of self-describing, Web-grounded Web content.

Although some of this finding deals with technical details, much of  it is 
intended to be useful to anyone who is interested in learning how to 
create documents for the Web, how to better administer Web servers, or who 
may be preparing specifications for new technologies or media-types to be 
integrated with the Web.  As the editor of this finding, I would like to 
thank the many members of the Web community who have taken the trouble to 
read and comment on draft versions of this finding.

A complete list of TAG findings, both approved and in draft state, is 
available at [2].  Also, the TAG has earlier made available "The 
Architecture of the World Wide Web" [3], which is intended as a 
comprehensive introduction to the Web's architecture, and which may also 
be of interest to readers of the newly published Finding.  Thank you.

Noah Mendelsohn
W3C TAG Chair

[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/selfDescribingDocuments
[2] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/findings
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/webarch/

Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Received on Sunday, 8 February 2009 17:28:17 UTC

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