Dieter Fensel Talk in Vienna

Dieter Fensel gave a talk at Vienna, on June 21, which I attended.

Michael Zeltner joined me and we wore funny t-shirts (have a look).

Dieter spoke about his vision of Semantic Web Services, adapted to the quite mixed audience, it was also a Semantic Web introduction. Beeing the chef of he gave much information about what projects they do and what goals they have.

I liked this List for “Semantic Web is an enabler for”:

  • eCommerce
  • Enterprise Application Integration
  • Knowledge Management

btw, Download his slides

A big thing at the moment is the wsmo – Big in funding is also He also mentioned an older thing from, the OntoWrapper, this could be interesting for gnowsis. And also the sekt project, which I was interested in before.

Hm, is open for new members, perhaps interesting.

A nice part of the talk was about visions. Dieter sketchs two ways to a Semantic Web Service world: one through the Web Service approach, enhancing Web Services with Semantic Web tech (RDF and so on, UDDI enhancing etc) and the other by having Semantic Web applications like FOAF or so and add web services. I like the second thing.
The future may be a kind of global triple space. This leads me back to my ideas of uri-based routing and using URIQA for worldwide distributed database. We WILL have something like it, don’t know yet how.
– whoa, just this moment two links popped up for Michi: deri paper, blogged in #rdfig.
I asked, “when will it be” – 5 years or 10 years? Nice answer: “5 years, we have funding for 5 years now”. Or was it “I plan to retire in 5 years” – forgive me, I didn’t remember.
But the good news is that Dieter thinks that smaller services will be available quite soon, surely in the next 3 years and that we will have a decent growth, not an instant revolution.

Michi and me had our moment when during the talk Dieter did stop, looked at us and asked: “Where have you got this t-shirt from?”. We did answer correctly, “L….M…..”.

So it was a meet and greet of Vienniese Semantic Web guys, I met also Gerald Reif and Hannes Lischka and Elke Michlmayr.

I got married! And RDF’ed

The happiest day in my life: My girl and me got married! Ingrid and I are deeply in honeymoon right now and enjoy every day of our life like never before.

We had a marvellous day and god blessed us on every way, good weather, good spirit, we felt great and were Queen and King for a day.

Interesting for the RDF community: a friend wrote a RDF representation of the wedding and dedicated it to us as a present.

ingrid_und_leo1 (rdf, 1 KB) – RDF
ingrid_und_leo (emf, 24 KB) – Visual Rendering

We are now away to honeymoon on kohsamui, expect more about mozilla&rdf after our return.

In between, watch some photos of our wedding and wish us best.

Mozilla RDF Javascript support

Part II of the seriesdiving into Mozilla.

Simple XUL example

To get going with RDF in Mozilla, it is good to make a Hello World-kind of Application. I did this by the way of “jslib”, a javascript library that helps Mozilla developers.

Step1 – Download and Install jslib
and install it in your mozilla (it is a XPI, so no problem there)
Test the library by opening this url: chrome://jslib/content/
see also installation doc.

Step2 – write a XUL file to test
I did it with this ugly file that extracts the firstname from my public FOAF file: rdflib_hello (xul, 1 KB).

Step3 – configure it to run
The problem is that the XUL file must be placed where XUL files are usually placed. If you know how to do this, fine. If you don’t, you have to configure jslib so that it accepts files outside the chrome. This may be a security risk. Description to use jslib from local XUL files.

Step4 – run rdflib_hello.xul
Start Mozilla, go to “open file” and open the XUL file (or use chrome:// if you managed to put it in your chrome).
You should see a single button. Press it and the String “Leo” should come.

What it does:
It loads my foaf file from my public homepage and extracts a literal property from a resource. To do this, there are fine XPCOM objects in Mozilla. But the XPCOM are hard to use, so the jslib guys made this system of Javascript helper objects to handle RDF. The script loads these jslib functions. Then, in the function testresult(), it uses an RDF object to get the RDF data from the homepage, select a resource from it and query an attribute of the resource.

You can also use the XPCOM RDF objects directly. So, at first glance Mozilla proves to be RDF-capable.

starting to dive into Mozilla

I started today to do the programming examples from the lovely book Rapid Application Developement with Mozilla by Nigel Mc Farlane. Reading software books without doing the programming is like watching Simpson’s without sound: senseless. So I will spend some time doing the examples.

At DFKI we are using Mozilla as browser and add some nice RDF features, so I had to learn Mozilla anyway. The book is rather fresh, the author announced it on RDF-IG some time ago and I had it lying aroung for weeks.

RDF in Mozilla

For those of you who don’t know yet: Mozilla is soaked with RDF!.
And it has got lot of XML and javascript, an environment where I will feel cosy.

Mozilla is a very fine example of “how to use RDF and benefit”. It uses RDF to configure the platform and to communicate between backend and user interface. great! To get started, look into your MOZILLA_HOME/chrome directory and the file chrome.rdf. They use seq tags in a nice and easy way.

perhaps this is the beginning of a longer lasting relation between Mozilla and me, we’ll see…


hm, I just had another look at Magpie.

Being a Semantic Web hacker I had to download it and try it out.

Hm, looks like you have to download “all knowledge there is” (aka ontology) and then magpie uses the literals in this Ontology to find similiar strings in the document.

Have a look at the video, we all have to make videos for our projects. Inspirative.

What I also found out it that the “right click” menu on found items uses a webservice. Magpie opens then a website like this: magpie link.
If you look at the parameters of the URL, you will see that the onotolgy is identified as string value and the requested resource also.

– HM –

The idea is good and I think I can learn something here. Have to check out the publications though. Also the Internet Explorer integration is nifty. The user interface is fine. I think the architecture does not scale. Best part: it adapts to IE and does not need a whole haystack of applications 🙂

public calendars

coordinating my appointments with someone else is hard enough.

Some offer solution. – public iCalendar files – proprietary calendaring application that is iCal based. They want you to host your calendar on their site. Which is also ok.

I also looked on MozCal’s calendar sharing ability and thought about using KDE’s KOrganzizer. The two didn’t agree on the same iCal lingo so I have to wait for newer versions.

Nice things for gnowsis

I stumbled across some nice features I could use for

Features like Samsung contact. They are also on Freshmeat.

This leads to the question: Is it feasible to implement an Open Source MAPI interface? By doing this, we could fool Outlook into storing its information on a RDF store, perhaps server based.
otlkcon tries to do it.

Bynari Insight Connector is the “bring two good ideas together” approach. It uses an IMAP server as a storage device to host MS-Outlook data. That is plain GREAT. It implements MAPI and fools Outlook into storing all its data into Bynari. Bynari then forwards everything to IMAP. Don’t wanna know what tweaks they did on the IMAP side, anyhow.



kSpaces is a metadata-driven, distributed knowledge management platform. It was designed to be lightweight, transparent and extensible. The kSpaces proof-of-concept allows files to be described with arbitrary RDF metadata. These descriptions can then be easily shared with and queried by other nodes in the system. Finally, kSpaces-managed files can be made available to all other nodes participating in the same kSpace.

finally someone with good ideas and practical implementation. We have to see if kSpaces can be plugged together with gnowsis. I am looking forward to see this code deeper.