Archive for Research

WOD-PD 2008 | Web of Data Practitioners Days

On Wednesday and Thursday I attended the Web of Data Practitioners Days (WOD-PD 2008) at “Altes AKH” in Vienna. AFAIK it was the first event of such a kind, it was something in between academic presentations and hands-on sessions, everything about Semantic Web and its related technologies.

I liked this format of a workshop very much, especially the “hacking session” in the evening of the first day with its “lightning talks”, and of course the socializing in between the talks. I finally had the chance to talk to some guys I already knew from various blogs and publications, but never have met in real life.

The Semantic Web Company (an austrian company who is pushing the Semantic Web topic really hard forward) was represented by Jana Herwig and published a few blog posts summarizing the talks of the event:

The proceedings are online with almost all presentations and links to the web sites which were used for the hands-on sessions.

Oh yes, of course there are pictures online on Flickr tagged with wodpd2008.

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Conzilla 2.2.4 released

Two bug fixes:

  • Non-ASCII URIs could not be properly published to Collaborilla (this bug made this quick bug fix release necessary)
  • The reload button did not take the threaded/unthreaded setting into consideration

As usual, Conzilla should update itself through Java Web Start. Have fun.

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Conzilla 2.2.3 released

This is a maintenance release, fixing the following bugs:

  • “Contexts” context menu was disabled when clicking for the first time
  • Shortcut and menu for closing a tab/context-map did not work
  • “Window”-view could not be closed via X-button in the window frame
  • “Save” button was always enabled
  • HTTP implementation of RemoteStorage did not timeout properly
  • Multithreaded loading of maps caused problems; it is optional now and deactivated it by default
  • Sindice client did not time out
  • Metadata popup sometimes showed up beneath map elements
  • Added menu to manually clear the container and metadata caches
  • Content URLs did not open in a browser on newer MacOS systems

Conzilla 2.2 requires a Java Runtime Environment in version 1.5 or newer and can be installed via the download page. If you already have an installation of Conzilla 2.1 it should be sufficient to launch Conzilla via the shortcuts. Java Web Start will then take care of the upgrade.

If you have comments or suggestions you can send them directly to the Conzilla mailing lists.

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Conzilla 2.2 released

The Conzilla team is proud to announce the release of Conzilla 2.2.

This is a usability release for improving the user experience and making it easier to perform collaborative conceptual modeling.

The major improvements since version 2.1 are:

  • Undo/redo functionality in edit mode.
  • Advanced logging for improved user feedback.
  • Improved “Offline mode”.
  • Keyboard shortcuts for most important editing actions.
  • Various improvements for editing single concepts and their relations to context-maps and sessions.
  • Context-Map metadata files (.ccm) and associated mime-type for easy opening of context-maps.
  • Support for importing collaboration settings from files, makes initial installation easier.
  • Announcements to the Sindice semantic indexer when publishing context-maps or contributions.
  • “Source view” for viewing a context-map in RDF.
  • Multi-threaded loading of context-maps resulting in smoother surfing.
  • Various improvements in the session manager.
  • New status bar with information on context-maps.
  • Splash screen with progress bar when starting Conzilla.

… and many more bugfixes and new features, see the automatically generated change log of our bugtracker for details!

Conzilla 2.2 requires a Java Runtime Environment in version 1.5 or newer and can be installed via the download page. If you already have an installation of Conzilla 2.1 it should be sufficient to launch Conzilla via the shortcuts. Java Web Start will then take care of the upgrade.

If you have comments or suggestions you can send them directly to the Conzilla mailing lists.

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AJAX, the Web and Everything

Today our research group had, together with some people from Uppsala Learning Lab and IML at Umeå University, a very giving all-day workshop on AJAX and the toolkit Dojo in particular. My colleague Matthias Palmér was talking first about existing approaches for realizing modern web-based applications in general and focused later on the architectures ReST and AJAX. The whole day culminated in doing some hands-on stuff, which means hacking together small applications using Dojo, just for the sake of getting a feeling for how it works or at least how it is supposed to work.

For me it was pretty new terrain. Having done some decent JavaScripts before, the “AJAX using Dojo approach” opened up a load of new possibilities on “how to do things differently” [tm]. Dojo is a powerful toolkit for simplifying such advanced web programming, and I guess I will be using it in a number of applications and prototypes. One of the first (and an important one as well) will be a web-based lightweight version of the concept browser Conzilla. Lightweight means that it will not have any editing support as we know it from the fully-featured Java application. At least not from the beginning. The main purpose will be easy and embeddable presentation of context-maps in different kinds of web documents.

Matthias already developed a prototype which is able to render context-maps directly in the browser. I’m working right now on a Restlet which supports dynamic creation of JSON-data which will be fed into the AJAX client. This will be the foundation of the web-based Conzilla client. Watch out for news on this topic!

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Conzilla 2.1.3 is out

This is a bugfix release of the stable branch, which updates also the Collaborilla client library and fixes some unicode issues with published metadata. If you downloaded and installed Conzilla via Java Web Start, then your installation probably has been updated already.

While maintaining the 2.1.x branch, development continues on Conzilla 2.2 which we plan to release during October. The next release will significantly improve usability.

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Conzilla 2.1 released

We just released our concept browser Conzilla in version 2.1 together with our collaboration server Collaborilla 1.0. Both applications are open source and have been licensed under the GPL.

The biggest changes from the last version (2.0) are:

  • Support for collaborative conceptual modeling (publication of and contribution to context-maps), supported by the collaboration server Collaborilla.
  • Support for Dialogue Mapping.
  • Java Web Start support for easy installation and maintenance.
  • Refurbished user interface and usability improvements.
  • Export of context-maps to the formats SVG, PNG and JPEG.
  • Bookmarking functionality.
  • Improved layer management.
  • Color theme support.

Conzilla 2.1 requires a Java Runtime Environment in version 1.4.2 or newer.

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