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[hcls] User interfaces for writing / querying RDF: Leeet

From: Matthias Samwald <samwald@gmx.at>
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2007 12:13:09 +0200
To: public-semweb-lifesci <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1189159989.16450.19.camel@leterel>

It seems to be general consensus that the lack of good user interfaces
for authoring / querying RDF and OWL is one of the major difficulties we
are facing at the moment. Solving this problem should be one of our top
priorities for extending the 'HCLS Demo' (besides improving the
ontologies and adding new data sources, of course).

The following is a prototype of a simple, easily deployable GUI based on
Flash and Sparql endpoints:


While the user is typing, the tool offers a list of auto-complete
options, based on Sparql queries to one or more Sparql endpoints. Scroll
down the page to find some examples and documentation.

The tool uses a simple RDF syntax called 'Leeetspeak'. Here is an
example of simple biological statements (two RDF triples):
acetylcholine                 <http://example.org/rdf#ach
  binds to                    <http://example.org/rdf#binds
    acetylcholine receptor    <http://example.org/rdf#ach_receptor
    acetylcholinesterase      <http://example.org/rdf#ache

Example of a simple Sparql query (add a third '?' in the Leeet console
to initiate query):
exocrine cell         <http://example.org/celltype#CL_0000152
  is a                <urn:leeet:is_a

The user face is deliberately focused on typing text instead of fancy
graphics and menus, because this can speed up the creation of RDF
tremendously. Rearranging / templating is just a matter of copying and
pasting text.

I guess such a tool surely is still too 'technical' for most people, but
it could at least attract the interest of researchers with a background
in informatics (e.g. bioinformaticians, computational biologists etc.).

If anyone wants to use this tool for his/her project or would be
interested in somehow supporting its further development, please reply!

Matthias Samwald
Received on Friday, 7 September 2007 10:13:23 UTC

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