Sunday, May 29, 2005

SIMILE, Piggy Bank and the Semantic Web

Phil Agre mentioned Piggy Bank to me and I've added it to Firefox, but haven't really explored its capability's yet. I'll report my impressions here as I try it out. If you use Piggy Bank, let me know your impressions in the comments or by email.

Piggy Bank was created by SIMILE.

SIMILE stands for Semantic Interoperability of Metadata and Information in unLike Environments

SIMILE is a joint project conducted by the W3C, HP, MIT Libraries, and MIT CSAIL. SIMILE seeks to enhance inter-operability among digital assets, schemata/vocabularies/ontologies, metadata, and services. A key challenge is that the collections which must inter-operate are often distributed across individual, community, and institutional stores. We seek to be able to provide end-user services by drawing upon the assets, schemata/vocabularies/ontologies, and metadata held in such stores. |Link|
All of these schemata/vocabularies/ontologies are part of the Semantic Web, which is a method for allowing automated tools to make inferences about data as I understand it. I like XML as a platform for marking up data. The Semantic Web is built upon XML at a very low level. XML is very similar to HTML which makes it seem familiar to me. The class I'm taking with Phil (IS 277) has really demystified XML for me as well as introduced me to the Semantic Web.

I do think Extensible Stylesheet Language ( XSL) is a more consistent way of creating XML than using a Document Type Definition (DTD). Ok, enough nerd talk for now....

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