Monthly Archives: November 2007

Joe Triple: A FOAF Tale

Once upon a time there was a Resource whose name was Joe Triple:


@prefix foaf:  <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1> .
</joe> foaf:name "Joe Triple".

Joe was a lonely Thing, and resolved to set off into the world to learn more about himself.

On this quest for self discovery Joe learnt that his birthday was 29th November 2007:


@prefix foaf:  <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1> .
</joe> foaf:name "Joe Triple";
foaf:birthday "2007-11-29".

Heartened by learning this new fact about himself and feeling more and more like a free Agent, Joe was encouraged to continue his journey of self-disovery. Joe acquired an email address and started a blog in order to have further contact with the world:


@prefix foaf:  <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1> .
</joe> foaf:name "Joe Triple";
foaf:birthday "2007-11-29";
foaf:weblog <http://www.example.org/~joe/blog>;
foaf:mbox <joe.triple@example.org>.

Through his travels and researches Joe developed many new interests:


@prefix foaf:  <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1> .
</joe> foaf:name "Joe Triple";
foaf:birthday "2007-11-29";
foaf:weblog <http://www.example.org/~joe/blog>;
foaf:mbox <joe.triple@example.org>;
foaf:interest <http://www.w3.org/RDF/>;
foaf:interest <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travel>.

These interests helped Joe to define himself as a Person. In addition Joe developed a network of many friends, for many of whom he became a mentor:


@prefix foaf:  <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1> .
@prefix rel: <http://purl.org/vocab/relationship/>
</joe> foaf:name "Joe Triple";
foaf:birthday "2007-11-29";
foaf:weblog <http://www.example.org/~joe/blog>;
foaf:mbox <joe.triple@example.org>;
foaf:interest <http://www.w3.org/RDF/>;
foaf:interest <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travel>;
rel:mentorOf </rod>;
rel:mentorOf </jane>;
rel:mentorOf </fred>.

All of these people were enriched by their encounters with Joe, who helped each of them define themselves as people.

The End.

How Shall I Integrate Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…

Data integration is easy with Semantic Web technologies, right?
We’ve all said it, but has anyone actually sat down and tried to elucidate the ways in which technologies like RDF and OWL actually help with data integration? I don’t ever remember seeing one so here’s a first attempt.
Each of the sections below tries to work through a potential data integration scenario, attempting to demonstrate how RDF and/or OWL enable easier integration. Along the way I’ve tried to tease out a few common misconceptions.
Before we wade in to our first example, if you’re not already familiar with N3 then you may want to review the first few sections of the N3 Primer. Actually, read the whole thing. But you’ll only need to know the syntax covered in the first few sections to understand the examples shown below.

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Streams, Pools and Reservoirs

I often find it useful to try on different metaphors for application design and architecture. The stock set of patterns that are used in a particular domain are always very useful for communicating the design and intent of a complex application, but I find that experimenting with different approaches is a useful exercise that often helps sparks a bit of creativity.
I think this is increasingly true at the moment as when I look around at some of the ongoing debates it seems we’re trying to grind more and more meaning out of the same terms and concepts, arguing over finer points of definitions, or coining some fairly horrible neologisms; “prosumer” and (I must admit) GGG spring to mind.
Trying out more intuitive concepts can also help when the discussion is not confined to a technical audience.
Anyway, after digging through some old notes to dig out some work on did on Scutter configuration for Danny and Sam, I came across the following which I thought I’d post to clear out the ‘ole blog tumbleweeds.
The following attempts to provide a more natural (in the strictest sense) and dynamic conceptualization of web crawling and data aggregation. In this model there are three basic concepts: Streams, Pools and Reservoirs.

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