finally a bnode with a uri

Posts tagged with: slides

Back from New York "Semantic Web for PHP Developers" trip

Gave a talk and a workshop in NYC about SemWeb technologies for PHP developers
/me at times square I'm back from New York, where I was given the great opportunity to talk about two of my favorite topics: Semantic Web Development with PHP, and (not necessarily semantic) Software Development using RDF Technology. I was especially looking forward to the second one, as that perspective is not only easier to understand for people from a software engineering context, but also because it is still a much neglected marketing "back-door": If RDF simplifies working with data in general (and it does), then we should not limit its use to semantic web apps. Broader data distribution and integration may naturally follow in a second or third step once people use the technology (so much for my contribution to Michael Hausenblas' list of RDF MalBest Practices ;)

The talk on Thursday at the NY Semantic Web Meetup was great fun. But the most impressive part of the event were the people there. A lot to learn from on this side of the pond. Not only very practical and professional, but also extremely positive and open. Almost felt like being invited to a family party.

The positive attitude was even true for the workshop, which I clearly could have made more effective. I didn't expect (but should have) that many people would come w/o a LAMP stack on their laptops, so we lost a lot of time setting up MAMP/LAMP/WAMP before we started hacking ARC, Trice, and SPARQL.

Marco brought up a number of illustrating use cases. He maintains an (inofficial, sorry, can't provide a pointer) RDF wrapper for any group on, so the workshop participants could directly work with real data. We explored overlaps between different Meetup groups, the order in which people joined selected groups, inferred new triples from combined datasets via CONSTRUCT, and played with not-yet-standard SPARQL features like COUNT and LOAD.

And having done the workshop should finally give me the last kick to launch the Trice site now. The code is out, and it's apparently not too tricky to get started even when the documentation is still incomplete. Unfortunately, I have a strict "no more non-profits" directive, but I think Trice, despite being FOSS, will help me get some paid projects, so I'll squeeze an official launch in sometime soon-ish.

Below are the slides from the meetup. I added some screenshots, but they are probably still a bit boring without the actual demos (I think a video will be put up in a couple of days, though).

"SemWeb Tech 'n' Use" webinale Slides

Slides from my 1st webinale 08 talk are online
Update (2008-05-29): I've uploaded the SVG source file and a hi-res PNG of the SemWeb Menu Slide

Not that many attendees really, but talk went fine. Kept things simpler and more practical this year with a live mashup/hack of data from webinale, IPC, and DLW websites via *cough* regexp-injected microformats and RDFa, pulled out and integrated with ARC and SPARQL. Fun stuff, but most of the slides are a bit boring w/o the actual demos.

semweb menu

Back from webinale 2007

slides and some impressions
webinale/ipc sign The webinale slides are online now. The session went OK, I'd say. I always make the mistake to look at the high conference prices and then end up trying to squeeze too much information into my talks to give the people some value for their money. It also was a bit hard to predict what the audience of the newly introduced webinale would be like. I did receive some great feedback from PHP coders (sneaking in from co-located IPC) who already had specific questions and asked about RAP and ARC. But I could see from many faces right after the session, that a very basic talk may have been better. Leo suggested to skip the ontology stuff entirely, the amount of different flavours (SKOS, RDF Schema, OWL Lite/DL/Full/+/-/1.1) is surely a whole mess marketing-wise. Next time I'll try to stick to the more intuitive stuff. At least I had a convincing demo about how (low-level) ontologies can be useful to greatly reduce custom application code.

I had a short chat with pageflakes' CEO Christoph Janz. Semantic Web technologies are not on their radar yet (maybe they are now ;), but we talked a bit about the possibility to add some RDF functionality to their widgets (which they call "flakes"). They may let us try some things in the context of the knowee project, e.g. a flake that could store contact data retrieved via GRDDL or a SPARQL endpoint. Might be worth checking out their SDK.

So, next time: less OWL, more wild colours:
semweb web 2.0 layers

ZGDV Talk: Semantic Web and Web 2.0

Talk at ZGDV Darmstadt about Semantic Web and Web 2.0
pipe dream vs. piece of jargon There is a lot of Web 2.0 media buzz at the moment, many people seem to feel a presence [of enthusiasm] they haven't felt since... well, Obi-Wan Dot Com, I guess.

However, there also seems to be a misconception about Web 2.0 (whatever that term may mean to you) "replacing" the Semantic Web effort, or that - as written in an article in the current iX issue - the Semantic Web "was a failure", and "lost against" Web 2.0.

Yesterday, I gave a talk (slides, mostly in german, I'm afraid) at a ZGDV Conference in Darmstadt and tried to demystify this SemWeb "versus" Web 2.0 perception a little bit. I tried to show that the concepts are not that easy to compare really, that the technology behind actually follows common goals, and that the whole discussion shouldn't be taken too seriously. Of course there is a mind share (and developer market) contest, but that's more or less all it boils down to when you analyse the "competition". See for example the rather childish "we are lowercase semantic web" claim of microformats. They are cool, pragmatic, and completely in line with the Semantic Web idea ("semantics for structured data on the web"). Hopefully we'll soon see some apps that demonstrate how the whole market could gain a lot if people would work together more actively (the GRDDL activity is a great example) instead of wasting their energy in politics (IMOSHO).

The talk itself went fine (I think), too speedy towards the end as I ran out of time (as usual), where I surely lost a few people. But feedback was positive (as opposed to last webmonday, where I introduced the idea behind paggr and felt like Marty McFly after his guitar solo in BTTF ;).

Minority Report starring Leo SauermannLeo blogged, too, including funny photos of me (in hacker camouflage). I took some of him in return (see below). He gave an entertaining talk - on Semantic Desktops as you might've guessed - and started the whole thing with a "personal user interfaces in hollywood movies" quiz game, successfully waking up everyone in the room with mozartkugeln as incentive.
Leo presents Nepomuk

Slides from SemWeb Workshop in Hamburg

Talking about SemWeb and Web 2.0 at Edeka
serious now ;-) I ran a SemWeb Workshop in Hamburg this week. Just a small one, less than 10 participants, but it was at EDEKA, Germany's largest food retailer, and I didn't really know what to expect. Luckily, everything went well. Friendly folks and lots of interesting questions/discussions (although they suggested to rename SPARQL, given that SPAR is an EDEKA brand now ;). It still feels a bit strange to talk about RDF and related stuff in german, my slides had some weird english-german messed-up translations. (As usual, I started creating them too late and had the silly idea to "quickly" build an own html slideshow thingy.)

Not sure if it's interesting for anyone reading this blog (it's all in german) but I've uploaded the slides (HTML, navigation via arrow keys or footer bar, TOC via "t", bugs for free). It's not really much, I mainly used them to not drift off too far, and to test Opera's kiosk mode, which is really cool.

Some thoughts on Semantic Web site interoperability

Semantic Web site interop ideas
There is a workshop on Semantic Web site interoperability somewhere in the UK (at KMi ?) next week. I won't be able to attend (My mission for the next days will be to find out if David is still life-guarding the foaflets of the Caribbean ;), but DERI's SemWeb cluster will be there and asked me to provide some slides. While scribbling them I (again) came across the issues of resource description discovery. I think I have some ideas how to basically implement the stuff, but there are still two things that I'd really like to be addressed by the Best Practices or Data Access Working Group:
  • A standard way for site developers to point scutters and other SemWeb agents to resource descriptions (MGET support vs. response headers etc.) from a given URI
  • A standard way to tell SemWeb agents how to find a site's SPARQL end point / query interface (something less complicated than UDDI, please).

(I only had a quick glance at the draft of the SPARQL protocol, maybe there is already a proposal on its way for the second issue.)

Oh yes, and the hash vs. slash issue, of course ;) (I guess that's somehow related to interoperability, too...)
But first: holiday!


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