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On the chartering work around Linked Data Signature WG at W3C

From: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2021 15:33:12 +0200
Cc: Wendy Seltzer <wseltzer@w3.org>
To: Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-Id: <7BD37E8F-8235-44EE-BC5D-FE5FAE31D571@w3.org>
Dear all,

a few months ago we started a discussion on a proposed W3C WG charter for Linked Data Signatures[1,2,3]. This announcement was followed by a very long discussion thread, primarily on the Semantic Web mailing list (i.e., following [2]). The discussion made it clear that, in its form proposed in [1], the charter would not find consensus in the community. As a consequence, we decided re-think and repurpose the proposed work items to find a way forward. The current thinking is as follows.

1. Instead of a Linked Data Signature WG we would propose a different Working Group, tentatively called RDF Dataset Canonicalization and Hash (RCH) Working Group, whose charter would be restricted to the RDF Dataset Canonicalization and the RDF Dataset Hash deliverables of [1]. We felt that those two deliverables meet the need of the RDF community and were not particularly controversial in terms of goal and rough technical approach.

2. As a coincidence, the charter[5] of the Verifiable Credentials Working Group[6] runs out at the end of this year and will need rechartering. Furthermore, the current thinking in that Working Group is that the new charter would have to be more than a simple "maintenance" Working Group, i.e., it would work on the next version of Verifiable Credentials Data Model specification. The plan is, therefore, to create another deliverable as part of that new charter, tentatively called "Verifiable Credential Linked Data Integrity", that would follow the lines of work in the (proposed) LDI and LDSV deliverables of [1], but restricted in scope to the needs and nature of Verifiable Credentials. Obviously, those deliverables would rely on the technologies developed in the RCH Working Group.

We would hope that this approach will find the necessary consensus to complete the work.

About the timing. Unfortunately several factors have affected us and some will continue to do so. Our discussions on the plan outlined above happened right at the start of the vacation period in the Northern Hemisphere, and we did not think it appropriate to start a new discussion then. That was followed by some major personal issues that created a delay again for, essentially, the whole of September. Finally, there are publishing and chartering issues on other, but related, Working Groups that affect these plans in terms of the attention and the availability of the the relevant communities. It is, therefore, difficult to predict when these new plans will materialize; we would hope we can consider the next official step, including drafts of the two aforementioned charters, at the end of the current year or the beginning of 2022.

That is where we are right now... and apologies for the long period where we went missing on all this.


Ivan Herman

P.S. Note that [1] incorporates lots of changes resulting from the discussion on the mailing lists and does not correspond to the proposal as announced in [2] or [3]; for more information on the evolution of that proposed charter you can look at [4].

[1] https://raw.githack.com/w3c/lds-wg-charter/f976d487102ef4c31251e5d2a946ac771e60277d/index.html
[2] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/semantic-web/2021Apr/0012.html
[3] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-ac-members/2021AprJun/0002.html
[4] https://github.com/w3c/lds-wg-charter/commits/main
[5] https://www.w3.org/2020/12/verifiable-credentials-wg-charter.html
[6] https://www.w3.org/2017/vc/WG/
[7] https://www.w3.org/2019/did-wg/

Ivan Herman, W3C 
Home: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
mobile: +33 6 52 46 00 43
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0782-2704

Received on Thursday, 14 October 2021 13:33:16 UTC

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