RDFa Bookmarklets for Ubiquity

I’ve been aware of Ubiquity since it launched and have meant to dig in and play with it for a while. I’m becoming increasingly reliant on my keyboard for fast interaction with the computer; I blame gnome-do. So using the keyboard to interact more quickly with my browser had a lot of appeal.

Today I finally installed Ubiquity 0.5 and looked at converting the RDFa bookmarklets to Ubiquity commands. The bookmarklets are invaluable for debugging and exploring RDFa, but I don’t use them often enough to feel like I want them on my bookmark bar all the time.

Turns out that Ubiquity makes it really easy to convert a bookmarklet to a command. I’ve converted the Get N3 and RDFa Highlight bookmarklets and made them available. I’d like to convert the fragment parser as well but I think that’ll be a little more involved.

To use the commands, just install Ubiquity 0.5 (or later for you visitors from the future) and visit the commands page. You’ll see a notification at the top of the browser window asking if you’d like to install the commands.

date:2009-07-11 09:58:28
wordpress_id:1054
layout:post
slug:rdfa-bookmarklets-for-ubiquity
comments:
category:development, geek, projects
tags:firefox, javascript, rdfa, ubiquity

Open Access and Linked Data

I traveled to the midwest late last month and made a few stops, including PyCon and a brief visit with my parents. In between those two bookends I spoke at University of Michigan’s Open Access Week and had a few meetings with various parties. My topic was pretty broad — CC and Open Access — but I was [personally] pleased with how the talk came together. I’d like to re-create it for the purpose of creating a slidecast; maybe sometime soon.

In putting together the content I realized that while I had this gut level, assumed knowledge about what Open Access is, I hadn’t ever read a definition or really delved into it. When I read the Budapest Open Access Initiative, one part stood out to me.

By “open access” to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.

Well of course it stood out to me, it’s a core descriptive sentence. But in particular, “availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, [or] pass them as data to software.” Interestingly this sentence ties right into the other meetings I was having that week which all seemed to come back to linked data (in particular RDFa). If you think about it, this sentence has implications that make OA materials perfect for linked data integration. It implies:

  • you have a stable, unique URL for the work
  • there isn’t a paywall or login requirement in front of the actual work
  • there isn’t any user agent discrimination — text in a Flash viewer need not apply (I’m looking at you, Scribd)
  • they’re in a format that’s useful as data; maybe [X]HTML?

So we have a growing corpus of information that’s ripe for markup with structured data. We’re doing a lot with embedded, structured [,linked] data right now at CC (things we need to do a better job talking about). I find it reassuring that the principles other efforts value mesh so well with what we’re doing.

date:2009-04-20 18:06:50
wordpress_id:1029
layout:post
slug:open-access-and-linked-data
comments:
category:cc, geek
tags:cc, linked data, oa, open access, rdfa