Doug Schepers gives the W3C Big Picture; Leslie Jensen-Inman tells us all about the Open Web Education Alliance; Scott Hollier wants to Boost New Media Accessibility; Silvia Pfeiffer Takes HTML5 <video> a Step Further; Mark Birbeck Marks up Content with RDFa; Fergus Pitt and David Peterson Mash up Playlists; Kerry Taylor pairs Semantics & Sensors and Renato Iannella Opens up Social Networks.
Boosting new media accessibility
Making the most of existing and future video, audio and web standards
This talk focuses on the efforts engaged by W3C and its members to promote and improve web standards and in particular HTML 5 with mechanisms to allow people with disabilities to access multimedia content, including audio and video.
Scott will present the current user experiences of accessibility and the challenges of getting uptake in government. This would include the take-up of W3C access standards within government, use of WCAG and ATAG by developers, the technical challenges of video-specific implementations of captioning and audio description, and ways in which such challenges can be better addressed through the involvement of Internet users.
The Open Web Education Alliance
An alliance to shape the education pathways of web professionals
In the world of web standards, industry forms best practices, education instructs emerging talent—and neither the twain shall meet. A decade on, the rate of standards adoption across the school/street divide is dishearteningly poor.
Many organizations like Opera, Adobe, Yahoo, WOW, and WaSP InterAct have been diligently working to develop curricula and outreach programs to help schools better prepare their students for a career on the Web. The W3C recently announced an exciting new incubator group to unite these initiatives – The Open Web Education Alliance (OWEA) – that is certain to have a significant impact on helping web standards and best practices find their way into classrooms around the world.
At Web Directions South, this effort will continue to grow with several education events, like Web Education rocks and a whole day workshop for educators. Join Leslie to discover OWEA-driven curriculum building and strategic industry alliance can close the gap and what role is reserved in this initiative for educators and for developers of web standards and web scientists.
Marking up content with RDFa
RDFa is at the cornerstone of the Browser Web and the Semantic Web. With RDFa, publishing data becomes as easy as publishing HTML, and can help web pages authors to join the linked data cloud and leverage all the URI-based data integration features brought by Semantic Web and Linking Open Data technologies.
In this introductory session primarily directed at those who author web content, Mark will touch a range of RDFa topics from its goals and how it came about, to its relationship to linked data and how it’s being used in some recent projects for UK Government web-sites.
One of the main reasons why interest is growing fast in RDFa is because the prospect for being able to extend documents without having recourse to standards organisations is enormous. Mark will explain how the RDFa task force has managed to provide extension points to a base language as a mean to break the perpetual cycle of guessing in advance which new language features are sought by authors.
Taking HTML5 <video> a step further
Video for everyone
This talk focuses on the efforts engaged by W3C to improve the new HTML 5 media elements with mechanisms to allow people to access multimedia content, including audio and video. Such developments are also useful beyond accessibility needs and will lead to a general improvement of the usability of media, making media discoverable and generally a prime citizen on the Web.
Silvia will discuss what is currently technically possible with the HTML5 media elements, and what is still missing. She will describe a general framework of accessibility for HTML5 media elements and present her work for the Mozilla Corporation that includes captions, subtitles, textual audio annotations, timed metadata, and other time-aligned text with the HTML5 media elements. Silvia will also discuss work of the W3C Media Fragments group to further enhance video usability and accessibility by making it possible to directly address temporal offsets in video, as well as spatial areas and tracks.
The mashed up playlist
How the ABC hooks up with the net’s biggest social music platforms
The ABC launched three new socially networked digital radio websites: ABC Dig Music, ABC Jazz and ABC Country in July 2009. They are the first of several ABC projects involving content aggregation. As well as having slick, highly usable designs the music platform integrates with various sources including MusicBrainz, YouTube, Last.fm and Wikipedia. This aggregation functionality graphically illustrates the possibilities of Semantic Web technology for an editorial organisation such as the ABC.Fergus Pitt will discuss why and how the ABC is using the radically transformed online environment to enhance its new digital music radio stations ABC Dig Music, ABC Jazz and ABC Country, and how the functionality and technologies relate to the ABC’s charter, editorial policies and traditional operations. David Peterson will explain how the sites were built with Drupal 6 and key ingredients that made the mashup possible: Semantic Web, Linked Data, MusicBrainz, Last.FM, Discogs and Apache Solr Search. He will cover the highs and the lows of Drupal along with the secret sauce that makes it all work.
The W3C and web standards big picture
A social platform for technical arguments
Doug will talk about the technologies currently under development at W3C which we are likely to see in browsers now or in the near future, and will have demos of as many of them as possible. Some of these demos will be HTML5 demos, but also technologies from the WebApps WG, Device API and Policies WG, CSS, SVG, geolocation, etc. He will clear the air about HTML vs. XHTML, and why they are not as far apart as people think.
He will also describe specs and areas that people might not know about at W3C, such as some of the SemWeb stuff (and the various industries interested in that), the voice browsers, the eGov activity, and other areas.
He will also discuss W3C’s structure, goals, how it works, and how people can get involved, and touch on the role of Web education in designing standards. He will describe (briefly) the standards track, and the tools which are used. Finally, He will talk about future directions for the Web and standards.
Opening up social networks
Breaking down the walled gardens
Social Networks have been a world-wide phenomenon and their proliferation poses a pressing interoperability and usability challenge to both web users and service providers. Web users have different social networks accounts and utilise them in different ways depending on the context. For example, more friendly chat on FaceBook, more professional on LinkedIn, and a bit daring interaction on Hi5. Maintaining these multiple online profiles is cumbersome and time consuming and locks in the web user to a service provider. Also, sharing information and user-generated content is particularly challenging due to the obscure nature of privacy and rights management on social networks and the lack of awareness and transparency of such policies.
The W3C Social Web Incubator Group (XG) has been investigating these challenges with the purpose to define a number of new standards that can address the needs of the social web users and balance the needs from the servicer providers. This talk will look at the social profile portability needs and the policy (privacy and rights) directions needed to break down the “walled gardens” of social networks.
Semantics and sensors
The web of real-time meaning
Semantic Web technologies, both those envisaged and those already realised, have the potential to benefit domains where issues such as volume, complexity and heterogeneity can overcome traditional techniques. Sensor networks are one such area where the application of semantics is indicated by scale, complexity, and the need to integrate over heterogeneous standards, sensors and systems for multiple purposes and multiple disciplines.
The Semantic Sensor Networks W3C Incubator is an international initiative to develop standards for sharing information collected by sensors and sensor networks over the Web, including an ontology for different types of sensing devices and their observations, and new approaches for the semantic markup of sensor descriptions and services that support sensor data exchange and sensor network management.
Kerry will describe the ongoing effort to increase the quality and reduce the cost of capturing environmental data, to address the growing demand for information about the environmental systems that support Australia’s agricultural, resource and process-based industries.