Friday, February 10, 2012

W3C co-chair: Apple, Google power causing Open Web crisis

W3C co-chair: Apple, Google power causing Open Web crisis

The dominance of Apple and Google mobile browsers is leading to a situation that's even worse for Web programming than the former dominance of Internet Explorer, a standards group leader warned today.
"WebKit, the rendering engine at the heart of Safari and Chrome, living in iPhones, iPads and Android devices, is now the over-dominant browser on the mobile Web and technically, the mobile Web is full of works-only-in-WebKit Web sites while other browsers and their users are crying."

Thursday, February 2, 2012


LODStats looks interesting and is a potentially useful tool if you are working with linked
open data resources.
One of the major obstacles for a wider usage of Web Data is the difficulty to obtain a clear picture of the available datasets. In order to reuse, link, revise or query a dataset published on the Web it is important to know the structure, coverage and coherence of the data.

LODStats is a statement-stream-based approach for gathering comprehensive statistics about datasets adhering to the Resource Description Framework (RDF). LODStats is based on the declarative description of statistical dataset characteristics. Its main advantages over other approaches are a smaller memory footprint and significantly better performance and scalability. We integrated LODStats into the CKAN dataset metadata registry and obtained a comprehensive picture of the current state of the Data Web.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Piazza for discussion, Q&A and help

This term we will be using Piazza for class discussion and questions on concepts and how to use various software systems and APIs.

Piazza is a Web-based system that describes itself as
"A free platform for instructors and TAs to efficiently manage out-of-class Q&A. On their class dashboard, students can post questions and collaborate Wikipedia-style to edit responses to these questions. Instructors can also answer questions, endorse student answers, and edit or delete any posted content."
I've tried to do this with Blackboard forums, mailing lists, Google groups and blogs with limited success.  I think Piazza as a much better model that will work well for classes where students can benefit from helping each other in an open, collaborative manner.

It looks well done, easy to use and even has custom Android and iPhone apps. They cite as users some well known CS and EE faculty from Stanford, Berkeley and MIT as well. I am looking forward to using it for our special topics source on the Semantic Web.

So, rather than emailing questions to me, I encourage you to post your questions on our Piazza site. If you have any problems or feedback for the developers, email

Saturday, December 10, 2011


We're reloading this blog for the Spring 2012 offering of a special topics course on the Semantic Web.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ontology Summit 2009: Toward Ontology-based Standards

A two day event, Ontology Summit 2009: Toward Ontology-based Standards, will be held 6-7 April 2009 at NIST in Gaithersburg MD. The Summit is co-organized by NIST and a number of other organizations.
"This summit will address the intersection of two active communities, namely the technical standards world, and the community of ontology and semantic technologies. This intersection is long overdue because each has much to offer the other. Ontologies represent the best efforts of the technical community to unambiguously capture the definitions and interrelationships of concepts in a variety of domains. Standards -- specifically information standards -- are intended to provide unambiguous specifications of information, for the purpose of error-free access and exchange. If the standards community is indeed serious about specifying such information unambiguously to the best of its ability, then the use of ontologies as the vehicle for such specifications is the logical choice. Conversely, the standards world can provide a large market for the industrial use of ontologies, since ontologies are explicitly focused on the precise representation of information. This will be a boost to worldwide recognition of the utility and power of ontological models. The goal of this Ontology Summit 2009 is to articulate the power of synergizing these two communities in the form of a communique in which a number of concrete challenges can be laid out. These challenges could serve as a roadmap that will galvanize both communities and bring this promising technical area to the attention of others."
The meeting is free, but advanced registration is required. You can also register to participate remotely.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Video from Tim Berners-Lee 2009 TED talk on linked data

Here is the video of the talk that Tim Berners-Lee gave at the TED2009 conference on linked data.
You can see the slides that TBL used on the W3C site.

I may have missed it, but I don't think he mentioned the phrase "Semantic Web" once during the 16 minute talk.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ian Davis code{4}lib keynote: data outlasts code

Ian Davis, CTO of Talis, posted the slides from his code4lib2009 keynote talk on slideshare. If you love something... set it free gives a very nicely done description of the motivation behind and hopes for the Semantic Web.

Code{4}lib is a conference series and community focused on the intersection of libraries, technology, and the future. code4lib2009 was held this week in Providence, hosted by the Brown University Library.

Ian's talk contained three conjectures, the first of which I especially liked:
  • Conjecture 1: Data outlasts code
  • Conjecture 2: There is more structured data in the world than unstructured
  • Conjecture 3: Most of the value in our data will be unexpected and unintended
(h/t Danny Ayers)