Thursday, October 14, 2010

EKAW 2010 and New Ideas

This week I and my colleague Andreas are participating at the EKAW 2010 conference in Lisbon, Portugal. On Monday we had a nice tutorial on ontology learning from folksonomies and in the meanwhile heard some interesting talks.

Semantic Pingback

One talk, namely Weaving a Social Data Web with Semantic Pingback by colleagues from the Agile Knowledge Engineering and Semantic Web Group at the University of Leipzig, particularly raised our attention.

The basic idea of pingback comes from the blogosphere and allows blog authors to get noticed when somebody links to their posts. Tramp et al. extend this well known technique with Semantic Web technologies to allow the pingbacked server to gain more information from the referencing web page than just the fact that an article has been references. E.g., one could state that someone knows the author.

Probably you already got the idea we got: BibSonomy could implement (semantic) pingback and therefore notify authors that one of their web pages (or even scientific publications) has been bookmarked in BibSonomy. The technology behind that is relatively simple such that I think we can implement it in the next weeks. Since BibSonomy already supports RDF export (for bookmarks and publications), it is automatically semantic pingback enabled!

This will then work out of the box with many blog software and in the case of semantic pingback with OntoWiki - but in principle any HTTP server could support pingback. Thinking one step further, publishers of scientific articles could support pingback to get feedback about the popularity of articles. Therefore, we maybe implement pingback for publications, too (technically, it makes no difference for us).

Linked Data

One thing I also learned from the Leipzig guys is that our content negotiation implementation to support the linked data idea needs to be fixed. Currently, only /uri/ path prefixes support content negotiation but all pages should support it. The rationale behind introducing the /uri/ prefix (as described in an earlier blog post) was that some browsers send an accept header containing "text/xml" on first position and therefore users would get XML instead of HTML which was not so nice. We will solve this problem by returning XML (or RDF+XML) only, when the requesting client exclusively requests this data format. Otherwise, we will always return HTML.

RDF output

That our RDF export according to the SWRC ontology is not perfect I did already know. I used the possibility to meet some Semantic Web experts to find out some errors we can easily fix. E.g., linking a publication's PDF using the owl:sameAs property is too strong - we will use some property from the Dublin Core ontology to do this better.

New Features (From our Wishlist)

Adding all the above ideas to our feature list, I again realized that this list is always way too long. It contains a lot of cool features we would - if we could - implement immediately, but we just don't have the resources to do so. To let you know what we think would be cool, here a quick list (really only a small part of the whole list): OAuth, OpenSocial, API versioning, fulltext search on your uploaded PDFs and bookmarked web pages, a TeXlipse plugin, ... Feel free to add more using BibSonomy's issue tracker.

New Features (In the Pipeline)

Finally, I can say that we are currently working on two cool features which will be released soon.

You will have much more freedom to configure your CV page because we are integrating a wiki renderer which basically allows you to add almost any content to the page.

Furthermore, we will introduce gold standard publication posts, i.e., posts which can be edited by several users to finally constitute a complete set of metadata for an article. For example, have a look at this resource which looks different than other resources in BibSonomy and that can serve as a gold standard for posts users want to create to reference that resource.
Additionally, gold standard posts can contain links to the articles the paper cites:

Thus we can represent the citation graph in BibSonomy.

OK, this was a pretty long blog post but I hope you enjoyed getting some news about what's going on "behind the scenes".

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