Comments by Alan Chuter on protocol for Web Description Resources (POWDER): Primer

Date: 14 March 2008

Note comments are mostly structured as delete and insert elements.

1 What is POWDER?

POWDER is the abbreviation for "Protocol for Web Description Resources", meaning a way to describe online resources. The goal of the working group was to develop a mechanism that allows not only the provision How does POWDER work in the real world?of those descriptions, but also a way to apply them to groups of online resources and to authenticate the descriptions and the claims they make.

POWDER therefore is a new generation of meta information that @@actually combines some of the best features of existing meta information mechanisms, like meta elements, Dublin Core @@[@@ comment: link here, and for FOAF] and FOAF [@@ comment: explain or define] enriched bywith RDF/OWL properties.

There are two varieties of POWDER @@,: a complex, semantically rich variety, called POWDER-S and a simplified version. The simplified version, also called the operational semantics, is written in XML for easy day to day use. The formal semantics, POWDER-S, are intended to provide mechanism to harness the semantic web and underpin the operational semantics. A @@GRRDL GRDDL transform will create the needed RDF/XML for this use [@@ comment: Presumably the transform goes both ways?]. [@@ comment: This is the first mention of GRDDL, should be explained or a link included]There is no restriction on which form to use, but it should be noted that the simplified version is intended for the exchange of information between systems. The POWDER-S version is designed to facilitate incorporation of POWDER information in larger RDF based systems.

Thus POWDER allows a variety of questions to be answered about a given web resource or group @@thereof of resources, without having to actually retrieve the resource.

@@In the first stepAt its simplest, a web description resource is @@nothing butsimply a claim.; somebody is making some statement about a given resource. However, the average usermost users would have to trust that claim before making the decision to retrieve the resource itself. This might be perfectly acceptable in the case of a @@respectablewell-known content provider who is expectedtrusted to uphold a certain level of quality. For unknown sources of untrusted web resources this might not be readily accepted by the end user. Thusto overcome this a means has been provided to allow certification of web description resources.

A certified web description resource certified immediately, through the involvement of by a third and trusted party, immediately gains in trust, in so far that the third party verifies the claim made by the web description author.

Through the combination of these tools various questions, not limited to the following, can be answered throughusing a web description resource, without having to retrieve the resource itself:

2 Recommended ReadingRelated Documents

The following documents should also be read to understand the nature of POWDER:

Additional information may be found in

3 Why would I want to use POWDER?

The amount of information on the Internet has increased exponentially since the Web’s inception approximately 20 years agoSince the Web began, the amount of information available on it has increased exponentially. Conversely, the amount of time people have to seems to be decreasingpeople seem to have less and less time to deal with it. To cope with these constraints, Based on these factors, (too much information + too little time), users need would lead people to gravitate tousers need a system where more customized content is delivered to them in the most personalized way. Basically the average user wants to get online, find what they want and move on.

Furthermore, it could be argued that many have even turned to personal social networks in order to create an environment that theoretically limitstries to restrict the information provided to only what the user wants. In effect, users have created an artificial means to “filter” information. Although social networks are growing in popularity and provide a valuable service, they are not the answer to the ultimate goal of personalized content delivery.