Tuesday, May 29, 2007

rdf_rails on rubyforge

I just posted a project, rdf-rails, up on RubyForge that will take a RoR application and convert it to OWL/RDF (including all of the instance data)

This is very much an alpha level project -- I only had one RoR application available for testing.

If you’d like to give it a quick spin I’d appreciate any feedback.

I’m interested in two types of feedback

The first is the conventional software testing: bugs, missing features, inadequate documentation etc.

The second revolves around the utility of the function -- what do you gain from having the instance data present and available for processing by semantic web tools? My postulate is that this would allow a more thorough understanding of the data constituting the domain. An application could then be initially deployed with minimal constraints while the domain is still under exploration. Then, as experience is gained and the system has been populated with data, intuitions about the ontology of the domain could be validated against the data.

I haven’t fully convinced myself of this as yet. It still appears possible, but the compelling example hasn’t yet surfaced. I would like to hear any (positive or negative) experiences that you’ve had in this area.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Architecture and Spreadsheets

I gave a presentation May 1st at BioIT World 2007 as part of a panel Interoperability and Standards: Progress towards an Industry Architecture in which I develop an example of the evolution and increasing scope of a spreadsheet to show the ramifications of software engineering principles, software architecture and eventually industry architecture upon bringing timely data to a cell in your spreadsheet.

Here’s a link to the PDF