Monday, May 25, 2009

Speaking at SemTech

I will be speaking at the Semantic Technology Conference in San Jose again this year from June 14-18, 2009.

"Modelling Objects in RDF" talk will be given for attendees that want to learn how to get started quickly building applications that use an RDF store.

Paul Gearon and I will compare and contrast the features and structure of modern RDF stores to help you find the stores that works best for your environment and data.

I will be discussing "Linked Open Data" in a panel to give you a chance to ask questions and get answers about how to share and use interconnected data across the web.

Thomas Tague and I will demonstrate how you can you use OpenCalais (at no cost) to extract metadata and named entities into the Linked Data cloud from english text.

As a speaker, I am authorized to share registration discounts up to $200. If have not registered yet and are interested in attending, please contact me.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Toronto College of Technology TechTalk

I will be giving my "Modelling Objects in RDF" talk again at TCT next week on May 30th. If you missed the last JUG meeting and are interested in learning/talking about RDF, come by for the talk.

More details can be found here:

A Map can be found here:

Annotation Properties

In Java annotation properties are grouped in annotation classes, which are grouped in packages. Since Java does not consider properties a top level construct (they must be in a class), this organization makes sense for Java. However, often burying the property this deep can make the syntax hard to read.

Compare the annotation syntax of JAX-RS vs Spring's annotation-based controller configuration. Spring makes full use of the annotation class/property grouping and can often look confusing as many annotation properties are crammed into the same declaration. Whereas JAX-RS tries to collapse annotation classes and properties together, allowing the annotation declaration to be simplified.

Java allows annotation properties to be omitted if they have the name "value". This allows the coder to simply state the annotation class and the property value (omitting the annotation property).

I argue that when using the short syntax, the annotation class (conceptually) becomes the annotation property and therefore should start with a lower case. This is how JavaDoc annotations have always be done (start with a lower case letter) and I think it should be carried over to Java annotations as well.

Conceptually, annotation properties are akin to static final class properties and therefore should be easy distinguished from traditional classes. Creating lower case annotations class files is one easy way to do this.

What do you think? Is it okay to create a Java file that starts with a lower case letter? If so, under what conditions?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Is Google the database of the Web?

Yesterday Google announced plans to improve its user's searching experience by providing more ways to search and find information on the Web. With Google's new search options and rich snippets, it is putting it self in a position to not simply link to desired pages, but actually provide the information directly.

By adopting RDFa, Google hopes to make it possible to start importing the deeper web into its cluster. It is starting by asking publishers of reviews, people, products, and organizations sites to share the raw data directly, so it can server the information without requiring its users to visit the publisher's site. Although Google is not the first search engine to use RDFa in the results, it is the first to start using it across all sites.

I am happy to finally see Google start to include rich semantics in its interface, but I worry what this might mean to publishers. Will Google become the database of the Web? Will the Web surfers of tomorrow never leave Google's domain? Time will tell, but lets hope this triggers new discussions on how we "browse" the growing web of data.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Toronto JUG Meeting

My presentation at yesterday's Toronto JUG meeting covered a lot of ground as it both introduced RDF and demonstrated how to use RDF with objects. Many of attendees struggled with the significant mind-shift from relational to RDF and how a data model can be represented as a graph of nodes.

One important point, that I want to reiterate, is that RDF stores are not designed as general purpose databases (as relational databases are), but instead RDF stores are designed for complex data structures. Currently, RDF is mostly used within industries that have complicated data models. However, RDF is becoming more appealing to a wider audience as data models in general are becoming more complicated and interconnected.

If you attended the meeting and/or are interested in talking more about RDF. Read through the getting started guide for Sesame[1] and join the discussions on IRC at irc://


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]