[foaf-dev] RDF specgen revisited - help needed!
danbri at danbri.org
Thu Dec 11 15:49:18 CET 2008
I'm looking for some Python-hacking help, to get a new FOAF spec out.
Some of you might know about specgen. I've long used a version of this
script to re-generate the FOAF spec from sources. Originally in Ruby,
Uldis Bojars and Chris Schmidt made a Python version and disentangled it
from the specifics of the FOAF spec/site. Their specgen4.py, as well as
the earlier specgen.py the last FOAF spec was built from, both require
the compilation of Redland plus the Python bindings. Although Redland is
a solid, powerful and mature library, it can be tough to get the Python
bindings set up. Lately I've failed to manage this either on my Mac
laptop or under Linux at Dreamhost. Redland is overkill for this task.
I'd like to be able to rev the FOAF spec with far fewer dependencies.
So I've begun exploring a rewrite of specgen. My first attempt (now
abandoned as specgen4b.py) was to simply go through and replace calls to
Redland with similar calls to the librdf library. I found this rather
error prone, since the RDF logic is tangled up with page-generation code.
Despite my ignorance of Python and rdflib, I'm attempting a fresh start.
The idea is to have a few core utility classes, Vocab, Term (Class,
Property) and populate these - as before - from on disk RDF and HTML
descriptions of an RDF vocabulary.
Everything I have so far is at http://svn.foaf-project.org/foaftown/specgen/
The RDFS/OWL-loader and utility code is in libvocab.py. This does
nothing fancy; certainly no RDFS or OWL reasoning.
# Test FOAF spec
spec = Vocab( 'examples/foaf/index.rdf' )
spec.uri = 'http://xmlns.com/foaf.0.1/'
spec.index() # slurp info from sources
# print spec.report().encode('UTF-8')
for p in spec.properties:
print "Got a property: " + p
for c in spec.classes:
print "Got a class: " + c
Got a class: Group
comment: A class of Agents.
Is anyone interested in helping take this further? The existing
Redland-based specgen code is useful, but the dependency on configuring
Redland plus Python bindings is pretty heavy. Librdf (eg. see
http://www.science.uva.nl/research/air/wiki/RDFlib) seems to contain a
reasonable SPARQL implementation, and there's an RDFa parser around too
somewhere I'm sure. The current code at
http://svn.foaf-project.org/foaftown/specgen/ doesn't quite load up
enough information for the HTML-generation side of specgen to be
implemented. I'd love to find a more Python-aware collaborator or two to
help get this moving. Failing that, I need to get Redland+Python running
again so I can make a new FOAF spec :)
Thanks for any thoughts or help,
ps. if it isn't clear from the code, I've never written anything in
Python before! Am taking a 'pretend it is Ruby then google when stuff
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