W3C RDF Vocabulary Guidelines
W3C - Best Practices for managing RDF Vocabularies
The World Wide Web Consortium has developed best practice guidelines for publishing RDF vocabularies on the web. A vocabulary management task force (W3C, 2006a) was established in February 2004 (W3C, 2006b). The best practices for RDF vocabulary management was developed using a W3C wiki (W3C, 2005) and later two official W3C Guidelines was published (Miles et al, 2006; Kendall et al, 2008). Miles et al (2006) provides guidelines for choosing between a hash namespace and a slash namespace including configuration guidelines for the Apache web server. Kendall et al (2008) provides guidelines with more focus on development and maintenance of the RDF vocabulary resource itself.
Principles of Good Practice (see W3C Wiki, 2005)
- Identify Terms with URIs.
- Articulate and publish maintenance policies for the Terms and their URIs.
- Identify the historical version of a Vocabulary or its Terms.
- Provide natural-language documentation about the Terms.
- Declare the Terms using a formal, machine-processable schema language.
Principles of Good Practice (W3C, 2008)
- Use URIs For Naming 
- Provide Readable Documentation 
- Articulate Maintenance Policies 
- Identify Versions 
- Publish a Formal Schema 
Some definitions (W3C 2005)
- Term: A named concept. [Tom: Or - "A named physical or conceptual entity". (Because "London" is arguably not a "concept" but could be a "term".) AJM>> Can we not do something like ... Term: a name or identifier used to denote a physical or conceptual entity. ...?
- Vocabulary: A set of terms.
- URI Reference: A globally unique identifier.
- Description: A set of statements about a term or vocabulary.
- Declaration: A machine-processable representation of a term or vocabulary.
- Vocabulary Owner: The maintainer of a term set.
- Versioning: The identification of changes to a term or vocabulary.
- Natural language: A grammar and vocabulary for statements that can be uttered, written, and understood by ordinary humans.
- Formal language: A grammar and vocabulary for statements intended for processing by machines.
- Namespace: In RDF the term "namespace" refers to an XML namespace where the identifying namespace URI can be dereferenced in the Web to obtain further information about the objects defined in that namespace. That is, in the Semantic Web a namespace is expected to be self-documented at its namespace URI.
- RDF validator: http://www.w3.org/RDF/Validator/
- W3C (2006a). Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group. Vocabulary Management Task Force (VM). Members: Thomas Baker, Dan Brickley, Libby Miller, Alistair Miles, Ralph Swick. Available at http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/BestPractices/VM/ (last updated 7 March 2006).
- W3C (2006b). Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment (SWBPD) Working Group Charter. Available at http://www.w3.org/2003/12/swa/swbpd-charter (last updated 20 April 2006).
- W3C (2005). Managing a Vocabulary for the Semantic Web -- Best Practice Wiki. Available at http://www.w3.org/wiki/VocabManagementNote (last updated 4 Dec 2005).
- Miles A, Baker T, and Swick R (2006). Best Practice Recipes for Publishing RDF Vocabularies. W3C Working Draft 14 March 2006. W3C. Available at http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-swbp-vocab-pub-20060314/
- Kendall E, Baker T, and Miles A (2008). Principles of Good Practice for Managing RDF Vocabularies and OWL Ontologies. W3C Editor's Draft 16 March 2008. Available at http://www.w3.org/2006/07/SWD/Vocab/principles
- Brickley D, Guha RV, McBride B (2004). RDF Vocabulary Description Language 1.0: RDF Schema. W3C Recommendation 10 February 2004. Available at http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC-rdf-schema-20040210/
- Miles A and Bechhofer S (2009) SKOS Simple Knowledge Organization System: Reference. W3C Recommendation 18 August 2009. Available at http://www.w3.org/TR/skos-reference