Tuesday, August 9, 2016

schema.org update: hotels, datasets, "health-lifesci" and "pending" extensions...

Schema.org 3.1 has been released! Many thanks to everyone in the community who has contributed to this update, which includes substantial new vocabulary for describing hotels and accommodation, some improvements around dataset description, as well as the usual collection of new examples, bugfixes, usability, infrastructural, standards compatibility and conceptual consistency improvements.

This release builds upon the recent 3.0 release. In version 3.0 we created a health-lifesci extension as a new home for the extensive collection of medical/health terms that were introduced back in 2012. Publishers and webmasters do not need to update their markup for this change, it is best considered an improvement to the structure of our documentation. Our extension system allows us to provide deeper coverage of specialist topics without cluttering the core project pages. Version 3.0 also included some improvements from the FIBO project, improving our representation of various financial products.

We have also introduced a special extension called "pending", which provides a place for newly proposed schema.org terms to be documented, tested and revised. We hope that this will help schema proposals get wider visibility and review, supporting greater participation from non-developer collaborators. You should not need to be a computer programmer to be part of our project, and "pending" is one step towards making work-in-progress schema proposals more visible without requiring knowledge of highly technical systems like GitHub. We have linked each term in pending.schema.org to the technical discussions at Github, but also to a simple feedback form. We anticipate updating the "pending" area relatively frequently, in between formal releases.

The site also features a new "how we work" document, oriented towards the Web standards community and toolmakers, explaining the evolving process we have adopted towards creating new and improved schemas. See also commentary on this in the UK government technology blog post about making job adverts more open with schema.org.

Many people were involved in these updates, but particular thanks are due to Martin Hepp for leading the hotels/accommodation design, and to Marc Twagirumukiza for chairing the "schemed" W3C community group that led the creation of our new health-lifesci extension.

Finally, we would like to dedicate this release to Peter Mika, who has served on our steering group since the early days. Peter has stepped down as Yahoo's representative, passing his duties to Nicolas Torzec. Thanks, Peter! Welcome, Nicolas...

For more details on version 3.1 of schema.org, check out the release notes

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