Thursday, April 30, 2009

SPARQL Highlighting in GEdit

In searching for highlighting mode for N3 and gedit, the best I could fine was a blog post from a couple years ago[1]. When writing N3 I am overly cautious about typos, and I could use some indication of syntax errors. So I created a SPARQL syntax highlighting mode for gtksourceview. This will highlight all known xsd, rdf, rdfs, and owl classes, datatypes, and predicates to make creating ontologies in N3 easier.

The file can be downloaded[2] and saved as ~/.gnome2/gtksourceview-1.0/language-specs/sparql.lang. Then the SPARQL mode is available from the View->Highlight Mode->Sources menu.


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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Speaking at Toronto's JUG

I will be giving a talk entitled "Modelling Objects in RDF" next week at Toronto's Java User Group. If you are in the city, please come by and introduce yourself.

Today's most used database model is the relational model. However, in today's high performance web-centric world, the relational database has begun to show its age. This talk introduces the Resource Description Framework (RDF) as an alternative database model. RDF is a family of standards to model properties and relationships between resources in a web-centric way. Unlike the relational model, which stores strictly defined records, an RDF model stores semi-structured graphs. This allows RDF stores to model more complex relationships, scale better across the web, and tolerate schema variations for compatibility.

Object-oriented design is the preferred paradigm for modelling complex software; however, most RDF APIs are tuple-oriented and lack some of the fundamental concepts in object-oriented programming. This talk introduces Sesame and how it can be used with RDF resources using object-oriented designs.

Event details can be found here:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

AtomPub as a Discovery Protocol

AtomPub was designed as a blog API, but with all the advancement the browsers have made as an application platform, it hasn't achieved wide spread use among bloggers. However, that doesn't limit the usefulness of it as a general publishing protocol.

My colleagues at Zepheira and I have been putting AtomPub into action recently. In our latest project we used AtomPub for a marketplace service registry. This allows others to publish the existence of their web service into collections. Because of the thorough documentation of AtomPub, it was easy to get everybody on board. With a simple example everybody started seeing the advantages of using a standard protocol. Generally speaking the AtomPub server was a breeze to maintain as all operations could be done using curl.

In the same project we also used OpenSearch with Atom to integrate multiple (private) search engines into a unified result. With some sugar and spice added to the "self" links we created a very impressive search solution.

Although AtomPub hasn't achieved much popularity within the blogging world, there are lots of benefits in using a standard protocol and AtomPub has proven itself as a great discovery protocol to us.

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