Archive for the ‘newest latest ideas’ Category

RDF, the idea of the connected web.

April 27, 2008

I have been struggling to learn about RDF lately. Rdf is a way to write/store/exchange information that is usable in many ways. If i write a paper in english and send it to a person that doesn’t speak english the information in the paper is worthless. However the beauty of rdf is that the information is written in a such a way that it can almost universally be able to be understood, by a person using almost any language. What is really special is that a machine/computer with the proper programing of course, can also read and understand this information.

Language has been a barrier to human communacations since the beginning of language itself. But teaching computers to read and understand what they are reading has been a even bigger problem. Words are only understood in the context that they are used. RDF encodes the information in a fixed or rigid context that can be understood by anyone or any computer programed to do just that. The way this is done is called ontologies. Ontologies are structured vocabularies. These Vocabularies are found on the Web and so when you reference the word you are trying to encode in a rdf document with the URL of the definition of that word, then the word can be understood in context by another human being anywhere that they can access the web or any machine/computer that can also access that information on the web. Many of these ontologies are being cross referenced to many different languages around the world, so if the word is cross referenced or translated into the language you are sending the information to, then the other person who speaks the other language can also understand what you are saying.

To give you a simple example, if I say my mothers name is Joy in english, and the ontology I am using to reference the word mother, is also referenced in the language of the person I am sending this informations to, they they will know that the English word Mother means Mother in their own language and that my mothers name is then word Joy.

Now to do this I must list the name of the ontology I am using and the URL of that ontology, and use proper reference word to the word Mother in that ontology, then the person receiving the information can access the ontology using the url giving and access it in their own language and then lookup the referenced word used for Mother in their own language, then they will know what I am talking about. The same system must be used for each term/word I talk about in the paper.

{Me} {Mother’s} {Name}

{ME} the person making the statement –

{Mother} the relationship to me –

{Name} her name –

Marks mothers name is Joy.

Now do this for every statement you make and you now understand RDF.

This system can be applied to any topic that there is a ontology to express. Most of the ontologies are scientific in nature, such as in Genetics, or Biology or in other fields of Medicine. However there are ontologies for recipes for cooking, or describing books or papers written. There are even ontologies for describing the discussions on the Internet. This is what they are describing when they are calling the Internet the connected data network. As more and more information or data is encoded into the rdf type formats more and more information will become connected. This will make information on the web searchable by computers and understandable by anyone anywhere using any language.


Microformats, another great idea.

April 27, 2008

I have been learning about Microformats recently. Microformats are a way to imbed information on web pages so that machines can read them and index the information and truly use the information they are picking up. The problem with web pages as they have been for years is that people could read them with no problems but machines could not really understand what was on the page. With microformats computers can not only read a web page with microformats on it, but can understand what information is encoded into them. This is important so that a computer can read a page and answer questions about what the information is and what it means.  Before you could have a web page with your travel plans on it and your friends could read it but a computer could not understand what the information meant or use it to answer questions about your travel plans. Now microformats are a way to say i am traveling on such and such airlines and on day on such and such a flight going from here to there at such and such a time, and have a computer read it and understand the informations provided and make it able to answer questions about who is traveling and when and where they are going and when they are going to getting there.

Those smart IT guys are developing ways to query this information using sparql and find out all kinds of things that they could not have gotten from old fashion web pages without a human reading the information and answering the questions.

There many other things that can be encoded in using Microformats. Calender information, your personal contact information, and your resume even, are all able to formated into the new microformats. These are just a few of the things more and more types of information is going to be able to microformated in the near future.

Openid, the newest lastest idea.

April 27, 2008

I am very excited about Openid. Openid appears to me to solve some real world problems. I am really tired of having hundreds of login usernames and passwords. Openid solves this problem big time. I have one username and one password that can be used at literally thousands of Web sites all over the web. The problem is not all of the sites i currently use accept openid. Hopefully that will change in the near future. More and more places on the web are issuing openid’s, the newest and latest one and one of the biggest is Yahoo. AOL is another big name that has also come on board as a issuer of Openid’s. Now all we need is for more of the everyday websites to start accepting openid. There is hope I wont forget all of those different login username and passwords by the time they all start accepting openid’s.

  • Advertisements