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Archive for November, 2006

OOo Writer Update

Posted in Uncategorized on November 23rd, 2006 by darcusb – 3 Comments

Mathias Bauer—the new lead for OpenOffice’s Writer project—has an update on the application’s future. Particularly relevant for me and for people interested in the evolution of the bibliographic support in OOo is this comment:

As I mentioned our support to ODF: we are working on the integration of the changes from the ODF updates, we are already doing this for ODF 1.1. (mainly accessibility), but we will also work on ODF formulas and metadata once their specification has stabilized. Metadata will also become important for us as we will use them together with the Bibliography project to greatly enhance the citation functionality in OpenOffice.org.

Those of us working on the enhanced metadata support are quite excited by the possibilities it will open up for significant innovation in ODF-based applications. Because it will be standardized in the file format, those innovations can scale across applications. Indeed, a primary use case for the metadata support is a scenario in which two users collaborate on a document involving citations, but each uses a different word-processor and bibliographic database. But our requirements in turn will help drive a more general framework for both ODF and OOo.

In related news, Elias Torres from IBM is in the process of joining the ODF Metadata Subcommittee to use his wealth of experience with RDF and web applications to drive home the final proposal. He’s already added a lot to the discussion.

RDF and Relational Databases

Posted in Uncategorized on November 6th, 2006 by darcusb – Comments Off

Bob DuCharme has had two recent posts on exposing relational databases as RDF (for access, say, using SPARQL) using D2RQ: here and here.

OpenFRBR

Posted in Uncategorized on November 1st, 2006 by darcusb – Comments Off

William Denton announces OpenFRBR, a new Ruby-on-Rails application based on FRBR. This could be quite interesting, bringing the principles of FRBR to Web 2.0.

I suspect it’ll be quite a challenge, however, to achieve his charge that “Everyone FRARize everything.” This is not just a data modeling challenge (handling parts like book chapters and journal articles is going to be hard), but also for the GUI. Normal people (you know, non-librarians) will consider terms like “manifestation” and “expression” hopelessly abstract, even if one can identify more natural counterparts like “version” and “format.” A good user-focused application of FRBR, I think, must be an exercise in translation.

Also, the main site page promises a standard format for other systems to use. If I may be so bold, I’d avoid using existing library standards to represent this sort of metadata, which will be both needlessly complicated, and frustratingly limited. As I’ve mentioned before, RDF is perfectly suited to this sort of use case, particularly given there is already a very good representation of FRBR.

Might be nice too to think of some kind of integration with Zotero.