Thursday, June 26, 2008

JRDF 0.5.5

The main difference in version 0.5.5 from the previous one is the inclusion of a RDF molecule store. Both in memory and disk based versions are supported and can be queried just like a normal triple store. This is also the first version that has been renamed URQL instead of SPARQL for the query evaluation. The SPARQL grammar is the same but it does not support the weird outliers that SPARQL has for empty graph patterns but follows relational (and other) algebras. There's also the usual bug fixes and other features.

Update: Due to a couple of bugs found in 0.5.5 there will be a version released soon.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Beef of the Sea

Everyone is probably sick of me talking about the Gruen Transfer. So what better what to continue to talk about it than to blog about it. Perhaps the best part of the show is The Pitch especially episode one's selling whale meat (this is the runner up) and making the Democrats electable (the second is best). Who would've thought deconstructing chocolate adverts would be interesting? One of the good things is that the show is available for download. There is also some good discussion in the forum and links to some other good adverts (although it possible should've been crows).

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bad Balmer

Eight Years of Wrongness. Lists some of the things believed to have gone wrong with Microsoft in the last 10 years or so. They include: losing the DOJ and EU cases, Vista, XBox, IE, Zune, and Windows Mobile. Linked mainly because they use Fake Steve as a source of analysis.

Apple Sprouts

AppleInsider has some details on SproutCore. The official web site says, "makes Javascript fun and easy" - and it's just a Ruby gem install away. They also link to some previous talk about Cocoa for Windows.

Apple's trojan horse in the runtime wars has been well known for a while.

The photo demo looks a lot like the MobileMe Gallery that was presented at WWDC 2008 (SproutCore doesn't seem to work too well under IE 7 and the rotation only works in Safari). Gallery has less functionality than things like Photoshop Express although the integration is obviously better.

There's also an interesting Javascript library for drawing 2D objects (UML, workflows, etc) that I've been shown recently called Draw 2D.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Curse of the Floppy Penises

A Western floppy penis is more valuable than preventing blindness in an African eye (see neglected diseases). This is part of the story in the video of the launch of "The Health Commons". The video talks about how hundreds of thousands of people go blind from "river blindness". It has very little value associated with it and drug companies focus on more valuable drugs to do with baldness and erectile disfunction. The video goes on to talk about how the network changes things and how there's a lack of process change in science to take advantage of these effects. If you can leverage network effects then this hopefully reduces the cost of drug discovery making drug development in less valuable diseases viable. The white paper covers some more of this in detail.

It also talks about an idea that I've often thought of as useful - the collection of failed experiments, "This deeply set inability to capture collective learning dooms everyone to revisit infinitely many blind alleys. The currency of scientific publication encourages individual scientists to hoard rather than share data that they will never have the time or resources to exhaustively mine. And, the wealth of “negative” information gleaned from clinical trial data is mostly lost to the need for companies to safeguard their commercial investments."

The general idea seems to share and standardize all aspects of research and science.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ob. iPhone

So I've been trying to find more information from a variety of sources on pricing.

The closest to reality that I've been able to find is these leaked details from Optus (via Gizmodo):
"The iPhone will only be available on a 24 month contract – no outright purchase, with the 8GB model to sell at AUD $220, and the 16GB model at $330, with only the 16GB model in white as Steve Jobs announced at the WWDC keynote.

Accessories will only be available through Apple stores – Optus will only carry the iPhone 3G itself, and the all important voice and data plans are as follows: $79 cap for $300 worth of calls and 1GB of data, or a $99 cap with $400 worth of calls and a 3G data download limit.

Visual voicemail is included, and the cap is whittled away in 35c per 30 second chunks, 25c per SMS message and the always annoying but always present flagfall which is set at 30c."

This makes it over twice as expensive as the ATT plans (and I think they had unlimited data). This is where I get cranky about Australian carriers and their stupid plans. It would probably count me out at those prices.

Update: No more Apple rumours. As Brad says in the comments, this is wrong.
Update 2: Looks like the UK is getting a good deal.
Update 3: Gizmodo link gone...nothing to see here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Linked Data, FOAF, and OWL DL

So I spent a little time a while ago looking through all the different ways ontologies support linked data. Some of my data I wish to link together is not RDF but documents that define a subject. For example, a protein will have peer reviewed documents that define it. It's not RDF but it is important.

The tutorial on linked data has a little bit of information: "In order to make it easier for Linked Data clients to understand the relation between,, and, the URIs can be interlinked using the rdfs:isDefinedBy and the foaf:page property as recommended in the Cool URI paper."

The Cool URIs paper, Section 4.5 says: "The rdfs:isDefinedBy statement links the person to the document containing its RDF description and allows RDF browsers to distinguish this main resource from other auxiliary resources that just happen to be mentioned in the document. We use rdfs:isDefinedBy instead of its weaker superproperty rdfs:seeAlso because the content at /data/alice is authoritative."

There is also some discussion about linking in URI-based Naming Systems for Science.

Now my use case is linking things to documents that define that thing. So rdfs:seeAlso is not appropriate as it "might provide additional information about the subject resource". And rdfs:isDefinedBy is also out as it is used to link RDF documents together. I need a property that defines a thing, is authoritative but isn't linking RDF (it's for humans). I also would like to keep my ontology within OWL DL.

FOAF has a page property. I've used the OWL DL version of FOAF before and FOAF cleaner (or should that be RDFS cleaner). So it seemed like a good match. However, its inverse is topic which isn't good. Because I'm linking the thing to the page - it's not a topic. So scrub that.

RSS has a link property which extends Dublin Core's identifier. This seems more like it. However, I'd like to extend my own version of link and I'm stuck because as soon as you use RDFS vocabularies in OWL DL you're in OWL Full territory. It'd be nice to stay in OWL DL. There is an OWL DL version of Dublin Core. All of the Dublin Core properties are nicely converted to annotation properties. However, you're still stuck because you can't make sub-properties without going into OWL Full. I like the idea of annotation and semantically Dublic Core seems to be a suitable vocabulary of annotation properties. Extending Dublin Core is out of OWL DL - which is shame because it's probably the closest match to what I wanted.

As an aside, annotation properties are outside the reasoning engine. The idea is that you don't want an OWL reasoner or RDF application necessarily inferring over this data or trying to look it up in order for the document to be understood. So the way they do it in OWL DL is to have annotation properties that are outside of/special to the usual statements. Sub-properties require reasoning, so limiting them makes some sense but it does hamper extensibility - it'd be nice to express them and turn on the reasoning only when asking about those properties (I think Pellet has this feature but I didn't look up the details).

The other vocabulary I looked at was SIOC's link. Again, this seems like a close match but again it's RDFS.

In the end, I just created another annotation property called link.

In summary:

  • For my requirements, the suggestions for linking data seems to only work for RDF and RDFS ontologies. Reusing RDFS from OWL DL or OWL DL from RDFS doesn't look feasible as one isn't a subset of the other (an old problem I guess).

  • Current, popular Semantic Web vocabularies are in RDFS. Why aren't there more popular OWL DL versions of these things? Is the lack of extensibility holding it back?

  • Is my expectation wrong - should I stick within OWL DL or is an RDFS and OWL DL combination okay?

  • Why not allow annotation properties to have sub-properties?

  • Maybe the OWL DL specification does have suitable properties for linking certain data but I don't understand which is the right one.

Update: The Neurocommon's URI documentation protocol is quite similar as well. Except that, it seems to be too specific as it ties the name with a single thing that defines it. All the parts of Step 5 could potentially be eliminated with what I'm thinking of.