in unseren neuen Heimat gibt es Zigarettenwerbungen. Das ist für uns neu, ist es doch in Österreich nicht so. Interessant etwa dieses Marlboro Plakat. Es zeigt das typische “Marlboro County” irgendwo im Westen der USA. Beim am Plakat vorbeigehen fiel mir auf, dass das Bild leicht verwaschen wirkt. Tatsächlich schaut das ganze im Detail aus, als ob es gemalt ist. Vielleicht eine Übermalung eines Photos. Jedenfalls schaut Marlboro Man Reiter und Pferd aus wie mit Acryl gemalt. Lebt der Marlboro Man nicht mehr?


application integration the localhost way

Browsing along the PlanetRDF I came to Danny Ayers site which led me to the Syndication Subscription Service.

This is a good example of how localhost integration works. It shows 15 popular news-aggregation systems and provides links that enable the user to add Danny’s blog to their newsreader. Interesting is, that there si no common way of doing this: There is no “add this rss feed to my newsreader” system call in the operating system or the browser.
All products implement different ways to do it. The locally instlalled systems open http ports at the locahlost and wait for http requests. The web based systems run on their servers (f.e. yahoo) and wait for the commando there.

IBM Semantics Toolkit

I heard of the IBM Semantics Toolkit and had to d/l it to give it a try.

Roughly, it consists of three parts (see above site):

  • Orient – Visual editor
  • EODM – like Jena, but less
  • RStar – storage like kowari or Sesame

I focused on Orient, as it is Eclipse based and a visual editor. The other two may be interesting, but –
1. I am Jena based
2. they are not open source
3. RStar is only IBM databases (needs either IBM DB2 or IBM CloudScape which I don’t have and are too lazy to install. Cloudscape seems to be an embedded database, whatever, I stick to Orient first)


Installation is easy, read their readme.txt and unzip a few files. One mistake I made was to add Orient to my existing Java Development Eclipse – that does not work. You need the Eclipse platform, 3.0.

Then I changed to the Window-Open Perspective-Other-Orient. Voila. easy. Good looking. Reminds me of Protege. only neater. Nice typos “Please select a Konwledge I/O”. First try: new project. A lot of stunning options comes up, I keep pressing “next”. Ah, next experiment – import FOAF. Like Danny Ayers’ FOAF driven Development. WORKS. I see foaf:Person and other stuff.

Then i tried some editing. Disturbing things happen: when I create a new resource, to add its rdf:type and therefore class, I have to enter the URI of the class. At least I can select the namespace, but the existing classes are not listed. Drag-Drop doesn’t work either. Can this be true… lets see. Yes, this is low tech. I am not able to even add properties to this resource, or maybe I have to try harder. Ok, it is not a resource editor, it is an ontology editor. On the ontology side, it is better. I can add properties to classes – again by entering the URI of the property by hand.
Undo does not work also. Not always.

And then the obvious RDFS limit. The thing I often do is have one property with two classes as domain. I do this and add “foaf:depicts” as a property to “foaf:Project” (ok, not very wise). boom – it has two rdfs:domain entries, which has some disadvantages (the property is only valid for resources that are of type of both classes). This is only expressable in OWL, so RDFS crashes here anyway, so maybe this is a desired behaviour.

Export to RDF is good. The ontology comes out as clean, nice RDFS.

my bit: cool looking UI, eclipse rules. Good stable IBM ground, the EODM framework looks like it can handle this. Very easy to install, no exceptions, everything works – end user compatible. But no features, we have to wait and see until they implemented all of Protege 🙂

demo szene and breakpoint 2004

time ago I read an article about the breakpoint 2004, a convention where Demo developers meet and hack.

btw: a “Demo” is the animated thing that usually showed up before your Amiga and C64 Games, including some text like “brought to you by the gnoz, greetings to flashman and eggdropp”

demo coders are great hackers and I want to keep the urls:


Semantic Web and cyberspace

Danny Ayers blogged something about avatars that should read your blog.

Ok, my unshaved picture on the top may be a start, please imagine now myself reading loud….

But on the other hand, it is true that “being online” can also mean that your “avatar” is moving around and talking on the “cyberspace”.
I have to define the three things again:

  • Being online – to have your brain think about some resources on the web (or your own computer). Your attention is on the resource in the information world – aka cyberspace
  • Avatar – a representation of yourself in the information world – cyberspace
  • Cyberspace – the semantic web of tomorrow, where we can hang around and consume and produce information. Also the place where we see other people, when they hang around a certain resource.

These three things are part of building “cyberspace now”. I would go the easy way of looking at the datastructures that are used in online games like Ultima Online or Everquest. Then take these structures, RDF them and build a server that is capable of hosting some people (f.e. our DFKI workgroup).
Then go around and fill the empty space with data. And “going around” means that all websites you visit show other visitors that you are “there”.

oh cool. If anyone wants to code this, I am in.

Semantic Desktop YES

A big YES for the Semantic Desktop comes from the Desktop Developers Conference.

I wasn’t there but Edd Dumbll blogged very good.

My bit is: Edd talks the same language as we do. RDF.

The gnowsis Semantic Desktop project we do right now at the DFKI.de is nearly what he means. We represent all “user-interesting objects” in a BIG rdf graph. And that is built dynamically, by extracting the data from the different applications.

Ontologies like FOAF, DC and VCARD are spread all over our system and make it easy to annotate photos and so. We are working night and day now to make a release soon, as I see that our thing is definitely interesting for the rest of the world.

Expect a gnowsis release in September.

in the meantime, read my thesis