Monthly Archives: February 2006

SPARQLing Services at XTech

I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve had a paper accepted at XTech, I believe the schedule is still being compiled, but I’ve had confirmation that my paper “SPARQLing Services” has been accepted.
Here’s the abstract:

Backed by the flexibility of the RDF data model, and consisting of both a query language and data access protocol SPARQL has the potential to become a key component in Web 2.0 applications. SPARQL could provide a common query language for all Web 2.0 applications.


Developing and enhancing a web service API involves dealing with the conflicting needs of end users. The push towards ever finer grained access to data must be balanced against the performance and efficiency costs of returning redundant data. By supporting a query end-point a service may let clients effectively design their own API, with corresponding performance improvements.


This paper will review the SPARQL specifications and its potential benefits to Web 2.0 applications. Focusing on the SPARQL protocol for RDF, the paper will provide implementation guidance for developers interested in adding SPARQL support to their applications.


Issues such as mapping existing data sources onto the RDF model will be introduced alongside other fundamental concerns such as efficiency and security.


Trivial, but useful extensions to the SPARQL protocol, including multiple output options, and integration with AJAX applications will also be demonstrated.


Drawing on services (e.g. GovTrack, Opera Community) that already support SPARQL querying, the examples used in this paper will be grounded in real deployed applications and services.

The other paper I submitted, concerning a model for online hosting and aggregation of RDF content didn’t get accepted — unsurprising given the very high quality of submissions, and I’m certainly not complaining. The work I’ve been doing there should hopefully see the light of day on XMLArmyKnife.org very soon.
In the meantime I’ve got to finish my paper for the Jena User Conference. I thought I’d write up the work I’ve been doing on the second release of Slug, my semantic web crawler. It’s now nicely configurable, has a pluggable architecture, and supports persistent storage of data.
I’m also very pleased to say that Katie and Priya have had their XTech paper acccepted too. We’ve started a tech blog for the Ingenta engineering department to try and share more of what we’ve been doing with RDF, RSS, and other related geekery.

Out and About

From the way it’s shaping up, 2006 looks set to be my busiest year ever with respect to travel and conference attendance.
A few weeks ago I was at the ALA MidWinter conference in San Antonio, Texas. Ingenta has regularly had a stand at the conference, but this was my first time. A good chance to actually meet some users! Attended an interesting session providing an overview of the fledgling NISO Web Services and Practices Working Group. The co-chair of the group is Ian Davis, technical lead of the research group at Talis.
I was lucky enough to meet Ian last week, when he invited me up to Talis to speak to his engineering team about the experiences we’ve had at Ingenta with large RDF stores. It was great to meet Ian at long last; the Talis technical teams are a friendly and talented crowd. It was also a good chance to compare notes with Ian on a number of related topics including alternate RDF syntaxes, SPARQL interfaces, managing audit trails with RDF stores and other cool stuff. Ian has some nice demos of Web 2.0 concepts applied to Library applications which will hopefully see a public airing soon.
This week I’m off to the Carson Workshops “The Future of Web Apps” summit. Give me a shout if you’re planning to attend; looks like Edd’s going to be there. The summit is going to be a “grand day out” for the Ingenta engineering team, all of whom I’ll have in tow. I figured that a day’s intensive introduction to Web 2.0 from the impressive list of speakers that are lined up, would be a good way to get the creative juices flowing and prime them for the year ahead.
Web 2.0 will be the theme of a talk I’m giving in March for the ALPSP. Titled “Web 2.0?!…Huh?“, it’s a short introduction to the Web 2.0 concepts and technologies and is a natural extension to the Modern Palimpsest talk I gave last year. I’ve also recently accepted an invitation to join the ALPSP “FutureWatch” group whose remit, is in part, to discuss technology trends for the publishing community.
April is bringing the UKSG conference, and then May the Jena User Conference. There’s still time to submit a paper for this as the closing date is 20th February.
May is also going to bring with it XTech 2006 which I’m very excited about this year. I’ve been reviewing papers for the XML Europe and XTech conferences for the last 4-5 years, and while I’ve only seen a small number of the submitted proposals, those I have seen have been the highest quality ever. Book your places now, it’s set to be a great event.
And beyond that (if I’ve got any energy left!) is the 2nd Workshop on Semantic Web Scripting. So that’s the first 6 months of the year sorted!

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