Late Breaking News Session

My presentation on LDDI was in the "Late Breaking News" session since we basically missed all the deadlines. There were some other interesting presentations in that session as well.

Daniel Harris and Niel Harris (no relation) presented Kendra, a non-profit initiative to create an open market for digital goods. They presented Kendra Base, a tool for describing digital goods using meta-data. They describe it as "a semantic information publishing and querying system prototype." They also called it a "provocation," meaning that they're hoping someone can do it better--they're just exposing the ideas. The user shouldn't have to know RDF, XML, or anything else to make it work. On the other hand, you do have to understand ontological concepts for it to make sense. Multiple systems can be linked together to form a distributed system for purposes of search.

Inigo Surguy presented "Using ontologies to repair your car" a description of MyCarEvert, a European project by a consortium of vendors and service providers to allow access to automotive events (emergencies, breakdowns, etc.) using mobile devices. The project uses OWL and RDF in the query service to provide smart search and smart filtering.

Why use an ontology? To create a single data model that multiple vendors can use to classify their systems, parts, services, and so on in a single classification system. Vendors and service providers maintain their own datastores and these are combined to form the overall system. The query system is based on SPARQL and uses an OWL-DL reasoning engine called Pellet (PDF).

Searching on a specific car and system for example gives you a list of possible faults to select from and even cures. It strikes me that given the goal of being usable from mobile devices, building the ontology so that the system can make suggestions is desirable. Inigo mentions that getting all the SPARQL right was difficult. They created a SPARQL syntax highlighter to aid in debugging.

Julien Anguenot of Nuxeo spoke on " Multiparadigm application development with the Zope 3 component architecture." Unfortunately Julien spent more than half his time talking about the history of Zope and the differences between Zope 2 and Zope 3.

Zope 3 components are objects with introspectable interfaces. Content components manage data while factory components create other components. View components create presentation and adaptor components hold business logic. ZCML is a mark-up language for specifying how components are configured and interact. This is the core, but there is much more to the component architecture.

Next, Mark Seaborne from ORIGO Services spoke on "Building Web Forms The Easy Way." Mark proposes a reproducible process for creating business forms on the Web. Certain industry verticals use and re-use specific form patterns and these con be codified for re-use.

First Mark uses the IBM XForms generator to create a form from the WXS. Next Schematron constraints are layered on. Third, you apply a labeling that makes sense, group like components together, and so on to aid the end user. This gives a form that is business complete XForm that has the right components. The final step is to use CSS to style the form for presentation. The goal is to make a sausage machine so that small changes to a form don't require large development efforts.

Mark is creating XSLT stylesheets that can perform these translations based on validation, processing, presentation, and styling rules for each step.