ANNOUNCEMENT OF Aperture 2007.1-alpha4 RELEASE

Aperture is a Java framework for extracting full-text content and metadata from various information systems (e.g. file systems, web sites, mail boxes) and the file formats (e.g. documents, images) occurring in these systems.

The entire Aperture Framework has been rewritten to utilize the RDF2Go framework.
It is now completely independent from the underlying RDF store. Aperture registries
and factories can now be used in an OSGi environment as services. The
infrastructure allows for on-the-fly deployment of new extraction components.

download the new release:

Additional improvements include:

– the logging subsystem has been changed from Java Util Logging to SLF4J. This solves
some classloading issues that were encountered when using Aperture in
web applications.

– a set of OSGI BundleActivators have been added for embedding Aperture
in an OSGi environment. Additional ant target creates two OSGI bundles from
Aperture source code. The OSGi setup has been tested extensively
in the Nepomuk Social Semantic Desktop project.

Updated dependencies
– updated Sesame 2.0 from alpha-3 to beta-4
– updated the applewrapper library to version 0.2
– RDF2Go 4.4.1
– Sesame 2.0-beta4 RDF2Go Adapter revision 2682
– SLF4J 1.3.0
– osgi.core-4.0.jar – The reference OSGI jar file, necessary to compile activators.
– don’t use apache commons-logging anymore, the RDF2Go depends on commons-logging
but this is now done with the jcl104-over-slf4j bridge
– removed the original commons-codec.jar and replaced with an OSGI-friendly
bundle org.apache.commons.codec_1.2.0.jar
– org.apache.httpclient_3.0.0.rc2.jar

best regards
Leo Sauermann
Chris Fluit
Antoni Mylka

Screencast about the GnoGno Framework

When developing rich client applications for the semantic web, components for visualising and editing RDF data are useful.

The gnogno framework is an approach to bind RDF models from RDF2Go to Swing and Eclipse SWT widgets. It allows to edit text values, make lists, and program user interfaces using a clear design pattern. The RDF data can be taken from various frameworks, such as Jena or Sesame (RDF2Go wraps these). Inspiration for this project comes from the Borland DataSet components, part of Delphi.

I made a 20 minute screencast showing some basic components

gnogno screencast

At the moment, gnogno is alpha and subject to change, but I would like to hear feedback from you about the principal idea, and if you want to use this project, you may want to join me developing it. Its free software/open source. Please add comments with feedback here to this blog-post.

Why did I do this? I was a professional Delphi programmer before I did Java and Semantic Web, therefore I dig these simple frameworks that bind data directly to the gui.

Webinale 07 wrapup

This week I attended the webinale 07 conference, which circles around Web technologies. seemespeakat_webinale07

There were a lot of talks, where most of them had the word ajax in their title. Some of the talks where by experts on general topics, such as rapid prototyping, or by experts on very specific topics, such as their own product. I never heard anything uninteresting. It was a great place to socialize and to find possible vendors and customers. Even I, the semantic-web-is-no-business-yet freak, had some interesting lunchbreak meetings. Two students with whom I worked were also there, by chance.

The social event on tuesday evening – dubbed “webinale at night” – was organized perfectly, good food, professional DJ, enough alcohol. Only the rule of “have 50% women at an event” was severly broken, we need more women in information business and science. Very positive on the social event: no boring speech before the buffet was opened, it was all socializing.

My own talk was about – Semantic Desktop. I included a few slides about RDF and triples and RDFS and how simple and restful everything is up front, a one minute crash-course in Semantic Web. They are not perfect, but good enough to kickstart a few brains out there to think about the future of their data. Nepomuk was trimmed down to one slide this time, and I skipped most of the gnowsis slides while presenting. Maybe someone took pictures of my talk, add comments here if you did…

My slides are for download here:

I met Benjamin Nowack at the conference, his talk was about Semantic Web and Web 2.0:
Me and Benjamin Nowack

There were many cool people like Ben Ramsey:Ben Ramsey

and people with suits that know how to make serious money. I was specially impressed by Florian Müller from CTP who seems to have the skills to do projects professionally, quickly, without causing too much stress on everyone, and probably for serious money.
Florian Müller von Cambridge Technology Partners

Christoph Janz from held an, I would say, “oscar-nominated” powerpoint presentation about their website, with much humor and feature details.

Christoph Janz von

Everyone wore crazy t-shirts, and was somehow working in it business. wong the web shirt

Bengee gave his talk about RDF and stunned everybody with the great powers at hand (and with too much technical details, in my opinion)
Bengee showing off RDF

The only real sucker at the conference was the laaaaaaaaaaaaaagging internet connection. A lame setup of about 10 different wireless networks, of which some may work, some not, but surely not for hours, made it a never-ending quest for online time.

being online on a random base sucked a for me only a litte, but much for the Microsoft Keynote speaker who wanted to present the new Microsoft Online Platform. Well, without web, thats a show-stopper. It took the admins a few minutes to get him online, after he was disconnected. Nevertheless, Paramesh Vaidyanathan is a professional keynoter and kept our attention during the lag.

Bad internet connection

So, if someone has a business for doing good wifi at conferences, here is your customer.

For me, the last talk was a “framework smackdown” where some major web frameworks were compared. Rails, JSF, GWT, Pylons, qooxdoo, Ruby-On-Rails, Flex, Zend. Web Framework Smackdown

The message for me was: they are all ok, the free ones are harder to use, and the big players don’t care so much for web standards. Doing a whole website with flash seems perfectly ok for some companies.

Anyway, next year they are going to do the conference again, and if you are in the web business in germany, you may want to go there. Not only to know about the latest and best ROI web frameworks, all the big players in the web industry are there, but also to get connected to people you wouldve not expected.

Software and Support Publishing House also does other conferences in Germany, so you better check out their conference website. They are a major publisher of magazines, like the php magazine, eclipse magazine, .Net, etc etc. you hack it, they have it.

Webinale 07: met OpenLaszlo and Raju Bitter

Attending the webinale 07, the German business conference on web technology. Today, I saw many interesting things, one pitched out, a technology that existed for many years, and now, given semantic web 2.0, gains value.

Its OpenLaszlo, a framework to program user interfaces. I met Raju Bitter, the community manager of Laszlo, a kind of Laszlo evangelist.
openlaszlo logo

OpenLaszlo is an open source platform for creating zero-install web applications with the user interface capabilities of desktop client software.

OpenLaszlo programs are written in XML and JavaScript and transparently compiled to Flash and, with OpenLaszlo 4, DHTML. The OpenLaszlo APIs provide animation, layout, data binding, server communication, and declarative UI. An OpenLaszlo application can be as short as a single source file, or factored into multiple files that define reusable classes and libraries.

OpenLaszlo is “write once, run everywhere.” An OpenLaszlo application developed on one machine will run on all leading Web browsers on all leading desktop operating systems.

The interesting things for us Semantic Web people is:

  • The guis are described in an XML language, similar to XUL or HTML … or similar to Fresnel (aha!)
  • They run the XML guis in an Laszlo Interpreter … like Adenine/Haystack
  • They GUIs are rendered either in DHTML or flash
  • The whole data model is XML … why not RDF/XML

My assumption is that the framework takes, like any framework, some time to learn and train your developers, some investment, etc… but when I look at user interfaces like Jibberjims FoafNaut, I would guess they could also be hackeed in Laszlo, and better extended….

Permanent Breakfast Startfrühstück Nachlese

Sonntag, 20. Mai 2007 war in Kaiserslautern Permanent Breakfast Startfrühstück für diese Saison der dauernden Frühstücker.

Es war uns ein gemütliches Beisammensein beschert, um Sonntägliche gemütliche elf Uhr vormittags. Diesmal nicht so viele Leute wie letztes Jahr, aber das Essen war sehr gut.

Photos hier:

hier die einzige Perspektive des Stiftsplatzes, die nett aussieht:

Joost is public

Joost is there, I got invites. As a personal favor to Libby and Dirk-Willem, I am happy to post their advertisment material:

Joost the best of tv and the internet

Joost the best of tv and the internet

You can also watch the promo video, that says it tells everything about Joos:

Promotion video

What's Joost promotion video

What’s Joost, Quicktime (9.79 MB)

My personal Experience:

They got many wakeboarding videos, what else do I need.

Talkin With Talis – Nice collections of Podcasts about the Semantic Web

Talis, the company that recently hired Danny Ayers, has a fine and excellent collection of assorted Podcasts of interviews with Semantic Web aficiandos. The quality of the interviews is low, they are recorded via Skype. Nethertheless, you will hear many people remembering many stories about the semantic web.

here are the podcasts:

for the impatient, feed your iPods this munchy url:

New Book: Beyond the Desktop Metaphor – Designing Integrated Digital Work Environments

Mary Czerwinsky and Victor Kaptelinin have edited a book about future desktop metaphors.
More you can find out via

the cover at rickbs website

Here is what they say themselves, copy-pasted from the first chapter:

The objective of this book is to present and discuss new approaches to designing next-generation digital work environments. Currently the most pervasive computer systems, such as Microsoft Windows and Mac OS, are based on the desktop metaphor. For many users and designers, these are the only digital work environments they have ever known. It is all too easy to assume that the desktop metaphor will always determine our experience of computer systems. The present book challenges this assumption. Its point of departure is an understanding that desktop systems as we know them may well represent a temporary—if hugely successful—phase in the development of interactive environments. Future systems may further develop, modify, or even abandon the metaphor.

I can only add: for me, the Semantic Desktop is only the first step needed towards cyberspace! Lets make new metaphors! (as blogged before one two three times)

If you like Semantic Desktop, think about buying this book. For me, the reasons are threefold:

  • First, I chatted with Mary Czerwinsky over a cup of coffe in Kaiserslautern, back in January 2005 and she said she is preparing a book on future desktop metaphors – aha! Nifty I am, I added a todo to my organizer to remind me a year later if the book is there – it was not, but I moved the todo to remind me in another year…
  • Second, I recently tried to find out more about Richard Boardman, who is my secret hero for completing a PhD (btw: how could anyone ever ever finish a PhD?), and he blogged about the book, because he is in it. Reading his blog, it hit me: that is the book.
  • Third, because my clever Diploma Thesis student Danish Nadeem has found the book and recommended it to me. That was another reminder saying: you should buy this book NOW

So, I had a todo-item in my organizer saying “buy the future desktop metaphors book from Mary”, which I today, after 17 months, can close. Three cheers to Mary Czerwinsky and Victor Kaptelinin for making it! Thanks for Danish to remind me.