Saturday, March 08, 2008

My FOAF network #2: XSLT for a HTML GUI

Because the ACS meeting where Henry will present something about FOAF in chemistry, is nearing very fast now (here's the first blog it this series), it becomes urgent to beef up the Blue Obelisk FOAF network, now consisting of 7 members. All do now show up in the FOAFExplorer:

Now, to make sure that my FOAF is in order, I set up the regular XML/RDF toolchain, using xmllint to validate the XML and RDF syntax, and XSLT to convert the FOAF to human readable HTML. Using the ?xml-stylesheet? syntax this also provide the basic HTML GUI when accessing the FOAF file using Firefox. BTW, I had to rename the file to make the SourceForge web server aware that the file is an XML file, so that it nicely sets the MIME type.

BTW, I suggest all to validate your FOAF with this RDF validator, because some of us got some work to do to make them valid:
  • Mine is having some encoding issue
  • Henry's has some 8 errors
The others are actually fine.

While the XSLT is getting along quite nicely, I got serious other work to do. The Strigi-based FOAF indexer is sort of working, gets FOAF documents recursively, but I want it to index our publications and presentation slides too. Now, FOAF has a foaf:publications tag, which I thought might be suited. But after chatting with (new) friends on the #foaf IRC channel (the log), it became clear that the scope of that element is to point to some other file (foaf:Document) which lists the publications, such a HTML output created from BibTeX.

That is, the following syntax is not quite what appears to be intended:
<foaf:Document rdf:about="">
<dc:title>Bioclipse: an open source workbench for chemo-
and bioinformatics</dc:title>
<dc:author rdf:resource="#me"/>

The Bibliontology was suggested and seem a rather good candidate to draft a separate but RDF/OWL-based publication list. The server was down at the time of writing, but the Google cache showed the scope nicely. The Google group is active and the server should go back online shortly.

OK, enough for now. More will follow in this series shortly. Such as a HTML GUI for my publication list in Bibliontology format.


  1. Hi Egon, strangely, you're the second person this week using this ooooold software (two years old!!). I did not have a full comprehension of foaf and rdf when I wrote it, I should write a cleaner-newer version.. but where on earth did I put the sources !!! :-)

  2. Hi Pierre, when you find it, make it an open source project, and I'll try to send you patches.

  3. Hi egon !!
    I'm suntae from Korea.
    I have a question.
    These days I'm getting interested more and more about the FOAF.
    I want to put the DC(Doublin Core) element into the "foaf:Document" element. Is it possible?

  4. Hi Suntae,

    in RDF country, you can basically mix any namespace. The second thing is to make the processing tools aware of the other namespaces. Whether reasoning, or XSLT sheets for converting RDF into HTML, or so, need to know about the extra DC information.

    Good luck!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Thank U so much for your rapid response !
    I'm very glad to know you.
    U mean I can add the DC namespace in FOAF and I should make a parser to read the foaf.rdf file.
    Thanks again.