Links ARE meaning

This is a great TED talk from Tim Berners-Lee who created the internet. Here he talks about Linked Data and the importance of sharing and linking data.

Just as with his first break-through, the hyperlink, he realises that its the links that make things useful. To take this on step further the linking is how we embed mean into web documents. The same applied with data. Data by itself is not as useful as data linked to other data and this linkage is meaningful.

Linking was only half the story and Tim doesn’t talk about the importance of standardising the data format, which by the way he also underestimated with HTML and why web developers have had a nightmare with different web browsers interpretation of HTML. Data formats is the less exciting half of the equation but is going to be just as critical. Especially with numbers like dates, currencies, measurements (and their metrics) etc. I’m thinking (hoping, praying) that we’ve learnt our leasons from HTML and people know when and how to draw up a standard for data formats before this thing explodes.

Internationalization & localization data sets

I started gathering data for a project relating to Language and did a lot of research into ISO standards and was looking for a complete list of Languages + some ISO code to id them by. This got expanded to cross referencing by Country (as languages have dialects in different countries) and then I thought it would be easy to complete this set with Locate settings and perhaps even country to IP address mappings. I got a bonus from the UNeTradeS with all sub regions for all country’s (according to the UN) and most of their Geo co-ordinates!
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Problems with Drupal and the way forward.

Lessons learnt from Drupal, taxonomies, hierarchys, modules and a new approch to content management.

Drupal treats taxonomies like any other entity and so you can have as many as you like. You then associate them with module types and when someone creates an instance of a new module (Node) they are given the option to select which term(s) (i.e. category) they want to put the data in. Modules can have more than one taxonomy associated with it. In reality all data is treated the same and the taxonomies make the bumps in the landscape. we had the problem that you couldn’t associate one bit of content with another but someone wrote a handy module to do this. It basically allowed parent child relationships between the data of different module types i.e. so a an ‘Article’ about a course could have ‘Events’ listed with it to book those courses. The interface became unintuitive because the admin had to make then both separately and then separately make the associating between the course description and the booking listings.
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There is no shelf

Summary of article – Shirky: Ontology is Overrated — Categories, Links, and Tags

Shirky: Ontology is Overrated — Categories, Links, and Tags

This article looks at ontology’s and compares traditional predefined fixed expert ontology’s with the current web trend of individually defined organically growing tagging of web content post-publishing that is becoming every more popular on the web.

It reviews the traditional methods and looks at how they are based on library’s who’s systems where designed to find a book on a shelf so a thus it had to have only one place in the catalog system.
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I’m into labels

Gmail has introduced a subtile change to the way we manage email and I think this is a revolution in information management on the internet. Its the dawn of the era.

I got a Gmail account. If you don’t know what that is, Google have decided to step into the webmail market, which is bigger than the search engine market apparently. Each account gets a 1 gigabyte of storage space and some other changes to the standard webmail interface.
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