Heck of a job, Phippsy

It’s been a busy summer, but not on the Registry front.

We’re currently working on integrating the ARC library so we can handle RDF a bit more intelligently. This will give us import capability, a SPARQL endpoint, and the ability to express vocabularies in more RDF serializations. We’ve also made some improvements to our URI-building feature, adding support for ‘hash’ namespaces and tokenized identifiers (rather than simply numeric). This means that a URI like http://www.w3.org/2008/05/skos#Concept will be built for you properly instead of having to edit the current default http://www.w3.org/2008/05/skos/12345 to get what you want. None of this even on the beta site, primarily because we haven’t had time to test it at all, and there are some things we know are still broken.

There’s also now a fairly simple PHP script that accesses the new Registry API to retrieve data remotely. You can see this in action at http://rdvocab.info/roles.rdf — there’s no data actually maintained on rdvocab.info, the data is retrieved from the Registry. We’re not publishing the script yet or documenting the API because, like so many things, they’re not quite finished — the script needs to be even simpler, tested with PHP4, and less dependent on .htaccess. The API needs a few more methods and also needs to require a key for some operations.

Expect to see some of this stuff appear in early September.

The grant to work on the Registry runs out in September, but I’ll keep working on it and hope to have some collaborators. I’ve been pretty poor at creating a welcoming collaborative environment, networking, and promotion so that may be a vain hope.

There’s a fairly long list of things yet to do and some of them are major. Application profile management is the biggest, but there are also things like the ability to follow, twitter-like, activity on a vocabulary, and more extensive control over notifications, and integrated discussions are needed to help support the vocabulary development features. The ability to import, export, edit, re-import, and have changes tracked throughout the process is also pretty critical. We want very much to integrate the sandbox into the main Registry, at least integrating user registration and making it possible to easily move a vocabulary from the sandbox to the registry. And there needs to be much more extensive help, better explanations of what’s going on, a place to report bugs and make suggestions that integrates with trac.

I’m off messing about in Canada on holiday for the next 2 weeks, so some of the things that I finished up this week will have to wait until I get back before they’re integrated into the site — I hate to potentially break things and then disappear.