Uldis Bojars submitted his PhD thesis entitled “The SIOC MEthodology for Lightweight Ontology Development” to the University in September 2009. We had a nice night out to celebrate in one of our favourite haunts, Oscars Bistro.
This was followed by a successful defense at the end of November 2009. The examiners were Chris Bizer and Stefan Decker. Uldis even wore a suit for the event, see below.
Uldis established a formal ontology design process called the SIOC MEthodology, based on an evolution of existing methodologies that have been streamlined, experience developing the SIOC ontology, and observations regarding the development of lightweight ontologies on the Web. Ontology promotion and dissemination is established as a core part of the ontology development process. To demonstrate the usage of the SIOC MEthodology, Uldis described the SIOC project case study which brings together the Social Web and the Semantic Web by providing semantic interoperability between social websites. This framework allows data to be exported, aggregated and consumed from social websites using the SIOC ontology (in the SIOC application food chain). Uldis’ research work has been published in 4 journal articles, 8 conference papers, 13 workshop papers, and 1 book chapter. The SIOC framework has also been adopted in 33 third-party applications. The Semantic Radar tool he initiated for Firefox has been downloaded 24,000 times. His scholarship was funded by Science Foundation Ireland under grant numbers SFI/02/CE1/I131 (Líon) and SFI/08/CE/I1380 (Líon 2).
We wish Uldis all the best in his future career, and hope he will continue to communicate and collaborate with researchers in DERI, NUI Galway in the future.
Gautier Poupeau has written a useful guide (en Français) on how to RDF-ise your blog in two parts: the theory and the practice. It uses RDFa and vocabularies including SIOC, SIOC Types, DC Elements, DC Refinements and XSD.
Keith Alexander at Talis has described (and shown) how it is possible to create client-side Semantic Web applications using their Convert service. For example, on this page comments functionality is added to a section identified with a “sioc:has_reply” property using a short piece of embedded widget code.
Phillip Rhodes has been working on the OpenQabal “social software operating system” which integrates a set of applications (including Roller and JavaBB ) via single sign-on (SSO), a common look-and-feel, and SIOC.
Tim Berners-Lee talked about FOAF and SIOC in an interview with Marie Boran from Silicon Republic for the Irish Independent: “A project that started back in 2000 called Friend-of-a-Friend (FOAF) represents relationships between people, as well as basic contact details. SIOC does this for groups: it extends the FOAF idea to being able to talk about whole groups of people. Groups are a very important part of the Web because online communities are where we form our trust. It is very useful to build tools that apply to all the online communities so they can all generate this social trust information. I am excited about SIOC because you can use that information to determine trust, to let people in. If someone is in a group that a friend of mine is part of, I can create another relationship based on that.”
The new version of BoardTracker will have an API to export data using SIOC.
The Sindice group will soon release the SWPop widget for WordPress that allows you to view posts, comments, topics, etc. made by any blog commenter across the SIOC-o-sphere (as indexed by Sindice). You can see a preview here.
As mentioned in a previous blog post, int.ere.st has just launched. The main objective of int.ere.st is to demonstrate how Semantic Web and Web 2.0 technologies can be combined to provide better metadata creation and sharing support across various online communities.
With int.ere.st, you can save, tag and bookmark your own as well as other people’s tag clouds, as represented using the SCOT ontology. The tag meta search also allows you to look for similar patterns of tagging from other people based on their interests (as expressed using tags).
Some functionalities of int.ere.st include:
Various options for tag searching, such as and (&), or (space), co-occurrence (+), broader (>), and narrower (< )
Integrating tagged data across communities
Sharing metadata produced using the FOAF, SIOC, and SCOT ontologies
You can try it at out at http://int.ere.st/. Here are some video demos of int.ere.st in action, and some more videos are forthcoming:
The Semantically-Interlinked Scientific Communities project aims to improve how scientific data and knowledge is represented and communicated. It will use SIOC, FOAF, DC, Creative and Science Commons, OBO and HCLS ontologies and technologies as its basis.
Lee Faus has been telling us on the #sioc IRC channel how the forthcoming Stuff project will use SIOC to facilitate searching, creating, and maintaining all kinds of ‘stuff’ online (from wikis, forums, knowledge bases, IM, support tickets, e-mails, etc.).
There are also a number of modules for the OpenLink Data Spaces (ODS) platform that each export SIOC metadata, including ODS-Blog, ODS-Wiki, ODS-Bookmarks, ODS-AddressBook, ODS-Calendar, ODS-Polls, ODS-Gallery (for photos), ODS-Feeds (for feed aggregation and exposure via SIOC), and ODS-Discussion (for comments across blogs, wikis or any other data space that supports some form of commenting).
Another interesting SIOC-enabled application is the Mailing List Explorer. MLE is a tool that allows the exploration of mailing lists via query, timeline view, etc. It provides RDF representations (including SIOC metadata) for any valid W3C public mailing list archive.
On the wiki front, IkeWiki is a semantic wiki for knowledge engineering. IkeWiki allows discussions (following a forum style with threaded views) to be attached to wiki pages. These discussions are represented using the SIOC ontology, which allows one to use semantic queries to investigate the structure of any discussion.
“Yahoo has introduced a new product called Pipes. It seems to be a GUI-based interface for building applications that aggregate RSS feeds and other services, creating Web-based apps from various sources, and publishing those apps. Sounds very cool. TechCrunch has a decent write-up, and Tim O’Reilly is all over it. The site was down for a few hours and is just back up. Has anybody tried this?”
Pipes is an interactive feed aggregator and manipulator. Using Pipes, you can create feeds that are more powerful, useful and relevant.
So I created a basic pipe to take three feeds from Planet Journals, IrishBlogs.ie and awards.ie about the forthcoming Irish Blog Awards using the “Fetch” module. I then used their “For Each: Annotate” module to add a sioc:topic annotation, using the first matching result from a Yahoo! search for the phrase “Irish Blog Awards”. The graphical interface is very easy to use, and a screenshot of the pipe construction is shown on the left. You can see the pipe output on the right below; unfortunately the RSS 2.0 dump loses the sioc:topic annotation I added, but the JSON dump still retains it so with a bit of manipulation this could provide the appropriate RDF.
I’ve been testing out the Buxon visor for browsing SIOC forums, created by the SWAML developers and written in PyGTK.
So far, it works great (with SWAML-generated data). I used an example script packaged with python-libgmail (archive.py) to download an inbox from a GMail account (subscribed to the sioc-dev mailing list) to mbox format, and then ran swaml.py on that mbox to convert it to SIOC RDF. The resulting RDF is here, and I successfully browsed this with Buxon (as shown in the screenshot below). Great job, SWAML guys!
This is a nice demonstrator, and it just remains to do the same for a few more SW-related mailing lists…