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Archive for November, 2007

Opening Up Semantic Translators

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30th, 2007 by darcusb – Comments Off

Alf Eaton has been doing some important work on figuring out how to convert Mozilla-specific Javascript translators from the Zotero project into cross-browser and server/client-agnostic alternatives.

So let’s see, completely open and flexible …

  • data = RDF
  • identity and authentication = OpenID (and FOAF)
  • citation styling = CSL
  • legacy data translators = Alf’s work

Data Integration with RDF

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28th, 2007 by darcusb – Comments Off

Leigh Dodds has a nice post explaining how and why data integration is easy in RDF.

Walled Gardens and Open Graphs

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28th, 2007 by darcusb – Comments Off

QOTD (my first!) goes to Shelley Powers:

As for all the discussion about semantic API…years ago I, and others, made a fight for a model and associated XML vocabulary, RDF, we said would stand the test of time and hold up under use. The road’s been rough … but RDF fuels the only truly open social graph in existence. Five years ago. That was about the time when everyone believed that all we’d need for semantics was RSS. Including Microsoft.

That reminds me; I need to follow Norm and close my Facebook account. I’ll put my eggs in the open web basket thank you.

CSL News

Posted in Uncategorized on November 16th, 2007 by darcusb – 3 Comments

Those of us working on CSL have been talking for awhile about realizing a vision: one in which users never again have to worry about the arcane details of citation styles, and where users can seamlessly access new styles from a diversity of online locations. So imagine two use cases. First:

Jane Doe is a researcher at the University of Gotham. She and her team decide they’d like to submit an article manuscript to the Journal of Nuclear Physics. She thus goes to the journal site. Rather than reading through the style guide for authors, she instead clicks a link. The style information for the journal is loaded into her citation processing software (in this case Zotero, but it could be any software). If the journal makes any corrections or changes to the style, the software transparently updates it.

Second:

John Smith is a graduate student in philosophy. He comes across a repository that aggregates styles from the majority of relevant journals. The main web page for the repository lists a variety of categories. John clicks the “subscribe” links next to his area of interest, and his citation software makes that list of styles available for his use. Those styles he activates are transparently updated as they are improved.

Zotero has made the first step towards this vision by hosting a CSL repository. So the styles are all now freely available for anyone to download. More importantly, each style has a URI id, which resolves to the location of the file. This means any tool, knowing the id for that style, can load it for use in formatting. Moreover, once Zotero releases 1.0.2, Zotero users will be able to click on the “install” link beside each style, and it will be available for immediate use.

A second related development is that people are really stepping up to help make this vision happen. The award for best contributor of late definitely has to go Julian Onions, who has been tirelessly doing a lot of the work I should have done over the past year. As a result, we now have a pretty good start of documentation for CSL, and a decent and growing collection of styles.

Finally, in other news, another contributor at the xbib project is working on fleshing out a Ruby implementation of a CSL engine and bibliographic ontology object model, and Peter Hedlund has been working on a CSL editing application.

Now just imagine if a few more people followed these people’s lead!