Saturday, November 27, 2004
In addition to the end-user features, the SSE editors are intended to be easy for others to re-use as the source page in multipage editors. One obvious example is as the source page of a WYSIWYG HTML editor. Programmatic interaction with the text model can be accomplished with standard Eclipse text document APIs (e.g. replace) or through standard DOM APIs. We provide a custom DOM implementation that tolerates ill-formed text and that allows for easy integration with other models.
An additional component provided is the Snippets view. This provides a type of "clip book" where plug-in providers and end-users can store their favorite bits of code to drag-and-drop into an editor.
The code in this initial proposed contribution is a snapshot "midstream" of our move to Eclipse 3.0. There are many bugs and much more to be done integrating with functionality provided in the base Eclipse text infrastructure. However, there's plenty to try out already. So give it a spin, and let us know what you like and don't like."
Thursday, November 25, 2004
"This project aims to create an easy-to-use editor for creating OWL-S services. The editor is being developed as a plugin to the Protégé Ontology Editor. This site is the main site for the OWL-S Editor project, but you may also want to look at our automatically-generated page on SemWebCentral."
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
"Always implement things when you actually need them, never when you just foresee that you need them." "
Then reality hit. Despite the fact that I had actually speced out a
type ontology for the project, and educated everybody about it,
almost none of our RDF processing software actually checked the rdf:type
triple! Apparently, if it
walked like a duck, and quacked like a duck,
then by golly, for all intents and purposes it was a duck! That
was very liberating. I knew the moment I realized this, what had happened;
I simply had overlooked what was important to the recipient of the documents, the data.
rdf:Description; not just a place holder for the lazy.
rdf:type; in many cases, YAGNI
Author Sean Mc Grath
"All around the world, as I write this, developers are struggling to create models for invoices and other "simple" business documents into IT systems. All around the world, multiple efforts new and old continue to attempt to zoom in on a definitive model of what it is to be an invoice. Also all around the world, retired developers in Zimmer frames and comfy shoes remember the good old days when they too chased such modelling rainbows.
The classical approach to data modelling - as enshrined in techniques such as data dictionaries, object models and XML schemas - is to model the data rigorously from the top down. Every thing in the model has a name. Each thing is either a simple lump of data or a complex thing. Complex things, themselves have names and models. And so it goes.
The latest silver bullet of the classical approach - XML schemas -illustrate the genre very well. You start at the top concept "invoice". You break it down into its component parts known as "elements", say, "header" and "body". You break these down further into more elements. For example, a "header" has a sender element, a receiver element, a date element. A sender element is comprised of...and so it goes.
The trouble is, this modelling exercise never ends. The essence of an invoice refuses to be modelled. Every model, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, becomes a work of art that is never finished, simply abandoned. If this were not the case then surely we would have a definitive invoice model by now? How come our planet is so chockablock with mutually incompatible, application-specific models of invoices? How comes new ones appear every second day?
I have a suggestion that explains the situation. It is radical sounding at first but please bear with me.
There is *no such thing as an invoice* in the classical data modelling sense."
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
"What is Flickr?
Flickr is almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world. Let us show you why!
Flickr is a way to get your photos to the people who matter to you. With Flickr you can:
- Show off your favorite photos to the world
- Blog the photos you take with a cameraphone
- Securely and privately show photos to your friends and family across the country
- ... and much, much more!
Basically, Flickr is what butters the borders between your photos to the people you want to see them. And basic accounts are free!"
"There is a lot of talk about Web 2.0. Many seem to assume that the “second” web will be about rich intelligent clients who share information across the web and deal with richer media (photos, sound, video). There is no doubt that this is happening. Whether it is Skype or our product Hello, or iTunes, people are increasingly plugging into the web as a way to collaborate and share media. But I posit that this isn’t the important change. It is glitzy, fun, entertaining, useful, but at the end of the day, not profoundly new. "
"This is what will be new. In fact it already is. You want to see the future. Don't look at Longhorn. Look at Slashdot. 500,000 nerds coming together everyday just to manage information overload. Look at BlogLines. What will be the big enabler? Will it be Attention.XML as Steve Gillmor and Dave Sifry hope? Or something else less formal and more organic? It doesn't matter. The currency of reputation and judgment is the answer to the tragedy of the commons and it will find a way. This is where the action will be. Learning Avalon or Swing isn't going to matter. Machine learning and inference and data mining will. For the first time since computers came along, AI is the mainstream."
Monday, November 22, 2004
"Every ontology is a treaty – a social agreement – among people with some common motive in sharing."
"In fact, the World Wide Web is based on a semiformal ontology, and it shows how ontological commitment works in software interoperability. At its core, the concept of the hyperlink is based on an ontological commitment to object identity. In order to hyperlink to an object requires that there be a stable notion of object and that its identity doesn’t depend on context (which page I am on now, or time, or who I am). Most of the machinery of the early Web standards are specifications of what can be an object with identity, and how to identify it independently of context. These standards documents serve as ontologies – specifications of the concepts that you need to commit to if you want to play fairly on the Web."
"I was impressed by how far users of Intraspect could go by sharing a collective memory of unstructured and semistructured content. Thousands of people were able to learn from each other every day, without having to know who needed to know or whom to ask. A key insight to why it works so well is the role of context. With Intraspect, information was captured in the work context of its creation (projects, sales deals, customer relationships). The context itself provides a powerful semantic label on the content, even if the content is largely unstructured."
Author: Tom Gruber
An ontology is a specification of a conceptualization.
The word 'ontology' seems to generate a lot of controversy in discussions about AI. It has a long history in philosophy, in which it refers to the subject of existence. It is also often confused with epistemology, which is about knowledge and knowing.
In the context of knowledge sharing, I use the term ontology to mean a specification of a conceptualization. That is, an ontology is a description (like a formal specification of a program) of the concepts and relationships that can exist for an agent or a community of agents. This definition is consistent with the usage of ontology as set-of-concept-definitions, but more general. And it is certainly a different sense of the word than its use in philosophy.
What is important is what an ontology is for. My colleagues and I have been designing ontologies for the purpose of enabling knowledge sharing and reuse. In that context, an ontology is a specification used for making ontological commitments. The formal definition of ontological commitment is given below. For pragmetic reasons, we choose to write an ontology as a set of definitions of formal vocabulary. Although this isn't the only way to specify a conceptualization, it has some nice properties for knowledge sharing among AI software (e.g., semantics independent of reader and context). Practically, an ontological commitment is an agreement to use a vocabulary (i.e., ask queries and make assertions) in a way that is consistent (but not complete) with respect to the theory specified by an ontology. We build agents that commit to ontologies. We design ontologies so we can share knowledge with and among these agents."
From a philosophical point of view, some person wrote the description of URIA, and a different person wrote the description of URIB. If URIA denotes a concept in someone's head, and URIB denotes a concept in a different person's head, well how can we ever know they were thinking exactly the same thing?
So if URIA and URIB do not denote abstract concepts, what do they denote?
Well, what if we say that each of these URIs actually denotes a description of a concept?
This idea matches the desirable merging properties described above: if URIA and URIB both denote descriptions of a concept, even if they are both descriptions of the same concept, they are still disctinct resources, and so should not be merged.
It is time to begin the next technology revolution in software development, and the shape of this revolution is becoming more and more clear. The next programming paradigm is nearly upon us. It is not yet fully formed, different parts have different names: Intentional programming, MDA, generative programming, etc. I suggest uniting all of these new approaches under one name, 'language-oriented programming', and this article explains the main principles of this new programming paradigm."
Authors: P. Bouguet, L. Serafini and S. Zanobini
format: PDF Date: July 13, 2004
Semantic coordination, namely the problem of finding an agreement on the meaning of heterogeneous schemas, is one of the key issues in the development of the Semantic Web. In this paper, we propose a method for discovering semantic mappings across hierarchical classifications based on a new approach, which shifts the problem of semantic coordination from the problem of computing linguistic or structural similarities (what most other proposed approaches do) to the problem of deducing relations between sets of logical formulae that represent the meaning of concepts belonging to different schema. We show how to apply the approach and the algorithm to an interesting family of schemas, namely hierarchical classifications, and present the results of preliminary tests on two types of hierarchical classifications, web directories and catalogs. Finally, we argue why this is a significant improvement on previous approaches."
Sunday, November 21, 2004
"The Vrije Universiteit Brussel covers two parkland campusses in the Brussels Capital Region (the main campus in Etterbeek & a medical campus in Jette) and provides a wide range of teaching: 33 first-degree programmes, 42 programmes leading to a second degree and 58 postgraduate specialisations, many of which are taught in English. Since its separation from the French-speaking ULB in 1970, the VUB has grown to become a medium-sized Dutch-speaking university, with over 9,000 students and some 2,450 members of staff (including 600 faculty teaching staff and 800 research workers), occupying a major position in Brussels, in Flanders and beyond. "
The Vrije Universiteit Brussel is a Flemish university with a specific ideological basis, i.e. free inquiry. The University was founded in 1970, when it split off from the French-speaking Université Libre de Bruxelles. At present the VUB is a completely independent university, though still ideologically and philosophically related to the ULB. The ULB and VUB have a very distinct place within the unversity landscape in Belgium. A basic understanding of free inquiry will illustrate this special position.
The principle of free inquiry is open to various interpretations. The minimal interpretation equates free inquiry with the scientific model as practised today, even in universities with a religious basis. This, of course, was not so when the first "free university" in Brussels was founded in 1835, at a time when Christian institutions considered it their job to contest new approaches in the fields of geology and biology, to cite but two. In more philosophical terms, free inquiry begins with the supposition that the truth is complex and dynamic. Any view we may have of reality is incomplete. Free inquiry is a way to acquire knowledge about reality, by constantly adjusting our view of reality. This implies the willingness to confront knowledge with new knowledge, to take other views into consideration, to submit one's views to the consideration of others, to draw conclusions from such confrontations and considerations, and finally, the willingness to change your views if the conclusions make this necessary. Dogmas and prejudice have no place in this never-ending process of acquiring knowledge. Free inquiry is opposed to "Absolute Truth", and "Absolute Truth" is opposed to free inquiry. Free inquiry therefore distinguishes itself from religions or ideologies in which absolute truth is claimed. The VUB also distinguishes itself from neutral state universities, because the VUB is not necessarly neutral. This can be illustrated by the social implications of free inquiry: everyone has a right to exercise free inquiry. This means that everyone must have the chance to develop, must have free access to knowledge, and that free inquiry should serve the creation of the conditions that facilitate the personal development of all. Free inquiry thus implies working towards a global society which offers everyone the possibility of practising free inquiry. This is not to say that all who adhere to the principle of free inquiry share the same view on how this global society should look, or how it should come about. That would be contradictory to the principle of free inquiry. What they do share is a critical approach. Free inquiry goes beyond the neutral attitude of everyone being entitled to an opinion, or to no opinion at all. The free inquirer should form an opinion and express it, and, ideally, be as critical of his or her own opinion as of others. That's why the VUB is in favour of progress, controversy and social commitment.
We should conclude by stating categorically that the VUB is a pluralist university, in the sense that it is open to everyone no matter what his or her religious or philosophical convictions, provided they respect the fact that the education and research at the VUB, and its view of society, are based on the principle of free inquiry. To the free inquirer meeting people with different backgrounds and views is an enrichment. Everyone who comes to the VUB with the same openness of mind and heart is more than welcome."