Thursday, February 15, 2007

All Annotations

JSR-311: a Java API for RESTful Web Services?

I am still not so sure what they want to do exactly, but it seems to be based on JRA which has annotations of the form:

public List getCustomers();

For me a more interesting JSR would be one that would standardise the @rdf annotations the way so(m)mer is doing it.

The RESTlet framework was created because:

"I noted the lack of a REST framework in Java. The only project that came close to it was 1060 NetKernel developed by 1060 Research but it had too many features for my needs and I found that the mapping of REST concepts was not as direct as I was expecting."

It seems that annotations are an exceedingly useful tool, especially having used Elmo's annotations of interfaces to generate beans from RDF (link to PDF documentation). Annotating interfaces rather than classes, seems to be the way to go, given that interfaces can represent relationships like multiple inheritance. Elmo was inspired by subject oriented programming that provides a way "to group common behaviours and separate these different roles into unique interfaces and reusable classes." It's especially useful for unplanned extensions (through composition).

Googling for the various projects brought up, Tripresso looking at mapping RDF to OO (including Java, Ruby, Python and PHP projects). If object to relational mapping is the Vietnam of computer science, I wonder what object to RDF mapping is.

See the previous discussion, RDF on Rails ( mentioning ActiveRDF, RdfReactor, etc) and Henry Story's original, Java Annotations & the Semantic Web.
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