Week 9 – RDFa and the trouble with triples

The first half of this week was really intense, getting our work ready to demonstrate on video for the ISWC conference submission! My labmate Brendan worked hard on the presentation layer, while I spent most of my time on the functional half.

In order to perform a conversion utilizing the CSV2RDF4LOD tool, we need to generate an intermediate RDF file of enhancement parameters that dictates exactly -how- to perform the conversion. Essentially, a roadmap describing which CSV column gets which ontology classes or properties or data types associated with it. The enhancement parameters also describe relationships between columns. Our user interface lets the user make these specifications by dragging and dropping on a table rendition of their CSV data in the browser. In order to actually generate the parameters file, though, I’ve been working on learning RDFa and embedding that into the webpage. The idea is that, once the conversion is complete, all the information necessary for the enhancement parameters will be there embedded in the page. We can then just extract that from the page and pass it to the server in order to complete the conversion.

So essentially, while Brendan’s work on the UI updates the interface to hold the information about enhancements where the user can see it, I am preserving this information in a hidden part of the DOM. Sort of like a shadow of the table.

Challenges this past week, besides finalizing the conference submission abstract, have been learning RDFa. Our web application has really complex requirements, but I guess jumping in head-first is the best way to learn. I am getting the hang of it, though, and it seems like it could be a useful thing to know for other applications, too.

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