Thanks to Danny this morning I came across RDFX, an RDF plugin for Eclipse.
The howto document includes some interesting screenshots, based around exploring a FOAF document.
To install the plugin I found that I had to follow a few different steps (I’m currently using an Eclipse 3.0.0 integration build; 200309100800 to be precise) that those given in the download document:
- Click Help -> Software Updates -> Find and Install.
- Then choose “Search for new features to install”
- Click “Add Update Site” and then follow the RDFX instructions from that point (Step 6) onwards.
The tool is fairly easy to use. You can import new RDF resources into the main graph and then explore the links and properties of the resources. I’m not sure whether it’s user error, or the fact that I’m using Eclipse 3.0 but I didn’t get the pretty person icons shown in the RDFX screenshots.
My other gripe is that there’s no way to load remote resources. It would be nice to be able to specify a URL from which to import the RDF. It would also be useful to be able to select a property (e.g. rdfs:seeAlso) and have RDFX import the URL. Then we’d be able to actually browse the FOAF web.
I also couldn’t see how to clear out the internal model, I could only import. It would be useful to be able to completely delete the contents, as well as individual resources. The model is deleted when Eclipse is restarted however. Being able to save the model would be another useful feature
Other than that I’m quite excited by this as I spent the weekend fishing about in RDF documents and this would have made life a bit easier, especially if I could add icons, etc to flag up different resources.
Update: Rich Boakes pointed out to me that if you enter a URL in the “file explorer” box it will actually load a URL rather than a file. So that’s one item solved.
Rich also notes that “I’m adding a provenance facility soon which will annotate each resource as it’s loaded, enabling files to be added and removed at will.” Cool!