Trusted collaboration in distributed software development
Distributed systems have moved from application-specific, bespoke and mutually incompatible network protocols to open standards based on TCP/IP, HTTP, and SGML - the foundations of the World Wide Web (WWW). The emergence of the WWW has brought about a revolution in computer resource discovery and exploitation across organisational boundaries. Examples of this can be seen with recent advances in Security and Service Orientated Architectures such as Web Services and Grid middleware. Expansion of the WWW has seen the development of the Semantic Web, a layer on top of the WWW where content is enriched and made interoperable through standards such as RDF and OWL. Our work in these fields has brought together different ideas to further the advancement of version control; the SemanticWeb, Service Orientated Architectures, strong cryptography and the highly dynamic and collaborative WikiWikiWeb. Our online collaborative tool takes advantage of Description Logics, Named Graphs, digital signatures and Grids technologies, to improve collaboration for software engineers working in distributed software development, using semantic knowledge federation and inference rules. Such a system goes well beyond any current version control technology and demonstrates the value and future potential of Semantic Web technologies over traditional Relational Database Management Systems and overly expressive logics such as Prolog.