Alistair Miles

Month: June, 2006

What’s in a ‘term’?

A new issue thesaurusRepresentation-11 has recently been added to the SKOS proposals and issues list. There have been several requests for a solution to this issue to involve the addition of a new class to SKOS, to represent ‘terms’, which are linguistic entities somewhere between RDF plain literals and concepts. I believe there are strong arguments for not adding a new class to SKOS, and this article is an attempt to explain some of my reasoning.

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Managing Bibliographies

I’ve set up several bibliographies to help me manage citable references, see my bibliographies. I’m currently managing the references as files in the BibTex format, then converting them to XML via a customized version of the bibtex2xml python script from the BibTeXML project (my version of the script has only minor modifications), and finally using a customized XSL stylesheet to get an HTML view in browsers (my stylesheet is loosely based on the BibTeXML stylesheets, adapted for the W3C citation style).

My First AJAX Application

I’ve just written my first AJAX (Asynchronous Java and XML) application, see the Claddier Discovery Service (try searching for ‘cloud’ or ‘atmosphere’). This application interrogates an OAI-PMH provider for metadata about papers and datasets harvested from CCLRC’s ePubs archive and the BADC’s data archive.

I’ve previously avoided Javascript like the plague, mainly because I knew there are browser compatibility issues, and because I didn’t know of any code editors that could provide the kind of developer support that is essential to developing production quality code (i.e. code completion, debugging, documentation tools etc.) I’ve also been used to strongly typed object-oriented languages like Java, so I didn’t know how to get the best out of the weakly-typed functional Javascript language, or how to write code that was easy to debug and test. However, I found a number of tools and resources that have made this work a lot easier.

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