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Community Project


SweoIG$$TaskForces$$CommunityProjects$$knowee$logo knowee 375.png

proposed by BenjaminNowack

Project Summary

The knowee project aims to create a webby address book based on Semantic Web technologies. We will keep things simple and lightweight. A rather small subset of the huge (Sem)Web technology menu should get us most of the way.

knowee is supported by the W3C Semantic Web Education and Outreach (SWEO) Interest Group, so consider the journey to be its own reward. Whether you are a microformateer who would like to learn more about flexible integration of structured web data, or an RDFer with an interest in pragmatic approaches to semantic markup, you are highly welcome to participate.



Mailing List

We've set up a public mailing list. You can send a mail to knowee-dev-subscribe@googlegroups.com to subscribe.

Project Resources

Initial Proposal

1. Please provide a brief description of your proposed project.

knowee is a distributed, web-based contact organizer. It would be largely bootstrapped via the XFN and hCard microformats, but uses SPARQL (or maybe just a simple RDF lib) for application functionality and RDF for information integration.

2. Why did you select this particular project?

It's been on my todo list for months now, and given the growing deployment of MFs plus the recently started vCard in RDF initiative, the timing seems just fine.

3. Why do you think this project will have a wide impact?

The barrier to contribution is very low (just add some markup to your homepage html). The project also shows how MFs can be combined with RDF's integration infrastructure (plus eRDF for glue code, if needed) by bringing together two complementary technologies (with outreach-effects in both camps, SemWebbers still seem to have problems to acknowledge the great deployment work of the MF community). Several MF extractors exist already, the project can also be used to deploy Ray Ozzie's Live Clipboard idea.

4. Can your project be easily integrated with other wide-spread systems? If so, which and how?

Yes, existing RDF data could be re-used directly (although the project software will focus on low-hanging fruits), many large sites have started to publish MF data already. The necessary microcontent can be added to existing blogging tools (it's already done, actually). The FOAF link-tag discovery pattern in HTML can be used, too.

5. Why is it that this project should be done right now, i.e. why should people prioritise this ahead of other projects?

SemWebbers have spent ages to produce spec after spec, leaving the impression that their approach is highly academic and far away from practical use. We have to make sure that the wider Web dev community learns about the hacker-friendly side of RDF (e.g. eRDF and SPARQL), which can ideally be done by creating applications that are solutions to specific tasks. I think knowee could be such a solution with a scope narrow enough for short-term success.

6. What can you contribute to the project?

I'm creating a server-based microcontent parser, a client-side Live Clipboard hook injector (what a word! ;), the necessary RDF infrastructure (although I hope for several different implementations), web design stuff, and a (hopefully) pretty end-user thingy.

7. What contribution would you need from others?

Additional consumers would be great, widgets perhaps? An optional central ping server could be helpful, too. People who can't self-host a SPARQL store might want to use a hosted one (although an initial version may be based on simple scripts only).

8. What standardisation should the Semantic Web community at large undertake to support the project?

Perhaps an XFN2RDF mapping (Personally, I'm happy with Dan Connolly's approach to generate terms from the XMDP file), vCARD/RDF and FOAF mappings (the perosn vs. vcard issue). A simple protocol to add data to the personal contact organizer may be needed for a truly distributed system.

9. How does your project encourage others not currently involved with Semantic Web technologies to get involved (by providing data or make a coding commitment)?

Not sure. Lemme see what the others have written.. Ah, right: network effects can be used to increase the overall utility ;)

10. What would be the main benefit of using Semantic Web technologies to achieve the goals of the project, compared to other technologies?

The usual RDF benefits: The collected information can be freely mixed right away, standardized querying comes for free. Should someone want to combine the contact information with a calendar or other related apps later, the whole infrastructure and data model can be re-used.