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W3C Architecture DomainTechnology and Society

XML-DSig '99

The W3C Signed XML Workshop

Call for Participation

April 15th and 16th, 1999
Boston, Massachusetts


Workshop Scope

Structured information permits data to be easily read, exchanged, and acted upon by Web agents. The scope of such information often includes media-independent data for electronic publishing, electronic commerce and -- critically -- information about other information (metadata). The W3C's Extensible Markup Language (XML) Recommendation specifies a standard syntax for structuring Web documents. The content of the document structure is arbitrary; anyone can create a XML data structure (be it a bibliographic format or cooking recipe) as long as it is well formed. One can also associate (through RDF or Xlink) the meaning of the structured information to a Web resource. For example, "The resource at http://foo.com/~bar.html has a bibliographic entry as follows ...." This is very powerful!

However, the usefulness of structured information is dependent on how trustworthy it is. Is the authenticity of an assertion or the integrity of a price list assured? The goal of the XML-DSig workshop is to explore current work on XML, metadata, and machine readable semantics in the context of digital signatures. A result of this workshop may be a W3C activity that produces a specification for assuring the authenticity and integrity of Web data.

Further information on the character of W3C workshops can be seen in the W3C process document.

Expected Audience

We expect several groups to contribute to the workshop:

The workshop is an open event; space is limited and preference will be given to (1) W3C members and (2) experts in the field of metadata and digital signatures.

Position Papers

Position papers are the basis for the discussion at the workshop. A position paper is usually short, around 1 to 4 pages and summarizes:

Example topics:

Position papers must be sent via e-mail to the Workshop Chair (reagle@w3.org) by the March 29 1999. Allowed formats are HTML and ASCII. Good examples of position papers can be seen from the QL'98 workshop.

Position papers will be published on the public web pages (unless the author requests otherwise) and distributed as printed notes to all the participants. The Chair can ask the authors of particularly representative position papers to explicitly present their position at the workshop to foster discussion. In this case, the authors are also invited to make the slides of the presentation available on the workshop web site. Note that it is not required that every member or organization represented at the workshop submit a position paper. However, everyone is requested to submit some statement of their interest in the topic to the Workshop Chair.

Signature References

Metadata Communities of Interest


The program of the workshop will be publicly posted on the web; this will include any position papers that are submitted.

In addition, eventual minutes and reports from the discussions, as well as a final document summarizing the outcome of the workshop and the suggested future actions, will be posted publicly. Conversations and results are not expected to be member confidential. If sufficient interest arises, it is expected that W3C will initiate a related working group and activity.

Registration and Information to Expected Participants

There will be a limit of 40 participants. ALL participants must register. More than two participants from any single organization is discouraged.

There is no registration fee for W3C members. Others are required to pay a fee of $200 to help cover W3C's costs in running the workshop. The attendence limit may be exceeded or the fee may be waived at the discretion of the Workshop Chair for participants with compelling position papers. Registration is handled on a first-come first-served basis, so if you plan to attend the workshop please register as soon as possible. If you would like to attend the workshop, please fill out the registration form before March 29 1999. Registration is required! The payment can be made on-site at the workshop; accepted forms of payment are MasterCard, Visa, or a check in US dollars made payable to MIT/W3C. If you have trouble with these forms of payment or need alternative hotel information please contact Susan Hardy (susan@w3.org).

Workshop Organization

W3C Signed-XML Contact and Workshop Chair:

Joseph M. Reagle Jr. (W3C)

<reagle@w3.org> + 1.617.258.7621
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Laboratory for Computer Science
W3C, NE43-350
545 Technology Square
Cambridge, MA 02139  USA

W3C Meeting Planner:

Susan Hardy (W3C)

Email: susan@w3.org
Tel.: +1 617 253 2613
The World Wide Web Consortium
MIT Lab for Computer Science
545 Technology Square
Cambridge MA 02139  USA


Street map · Bus 64 Route Map (15 minutes from Kendall/MIT)
DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel
400 Soldiers Field Rd
Boston, Massachusetts 02134-1805
Tel: +1 617 783 0090
Tel. (USA toll free): 800 222 8733
Fax: +1 617 783 0897

Discount room rate: A block of 15 rooms for $169 are available from February 22, 1999 to March 17, 1999. After March 17th rooms will be sold on a space-available basis at a higher rate.

Accepted Credit Cards:

Tentative schedule: Continental Breakfast is served at 8:30 am. The Workshop begins at 9am on Thursday and ends at 3pm on Friday. Lunch and coffee breaks are included.

Note that you will need to make your own hotel reservation. You are recommended to book your hotel room as soon as possible as April is a busy time of year in the Boston area.


Discussion on the workshop will initially take place using the W3C mailing list w3c-dsig@w3.org and will move to w3c-xml-sig-ws@w3.org.

Send an email to w3c-xml-sig-ws-request@w3.org to subscribe.

The public can consult the archive of the mailing list at http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-xml-sig-ws/ .

Resource Statement

W3C Resource Commitment

This activity will consume 30% of the time of one W3C staff member for chairing the workshop, 20% of the time of one W3C staff member to handle local organization, and 10% of the time of one W3C staff member for managing the workshop website. This workshop is not part of a running W3C activity, but is organized under W3C's mandate to track and prepare possible activities in the Technology & Society domain.