W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > October 2010

Re: [ANN] LOD Browser Switch

From: Denny Vrandecic <denny.vrandecic@kit.edu>
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2010 15:46:43 -0700
Cc: Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-Id: <D35209EF-B869-4F62-91BD-836086B490CD@kit.edu>
To: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Hi Hugh!

On Oct 5, 2010, at 17:01, Hugh Glaser wrote:
> Hey Denny, that's a really cool idea.
> It solves a problem for me, and I have switched the Detail pane in
> RKBExplorer to use it.

Thanks for both! Especially for using it already, cool!

> A few suggestions:
> You could add value by documenting the browsers for which the tools work,
> either explicitly, or more implicitly by detecting the user's browser and
> saying something like: "You are using IE. Tabulator is not recommended in
> IE. Do you really want to launch it?".
> 

I agree, that would be a nice feature. As far as I understand it, this would require a bit of Javascript in order to intercept the click. Or it should be somehow displayed when the user hovers over it. One of my design decisions  was not to have any JS in order to make it work basically everywhere. On the other hand, this would be a gracefully degrading feature, i.e. it would simply not warn you if you do not run JS, and warn you if you do, so that would be OK. Alas, I would need a table of (in)compatibilities for this.

But in order for other to tinker around with it, I have released the code under
  <http://browse.semanticweb.org/code.zip>
so if someone implements that, I would be happy to put it online.

> It is disappointing not to be able to see the link before clicking.
> Does it really have to be done this way?
> (I am trying Safari, and expect to see the link in the status bar.)

This is the biggest problem, yes, i fully agree, this is disappointing, but it is an issue with HTML I am afraid.
So, to make my design a bit clearer:
* make the user spend as little time on this page as possible - basically, get him away with a single click. Done.
* No Javascript if possible to totally minimize requirements. Especially, no JS for any required functionality (but as not above, JS that degrades gracefully is actually OK)

Due to that, the only way I figured out to make this work is basically by using "submit" buttons and a form. For getting the statusbar to display you the target reference would work with links, but links are not able to take a query parameter from the form. What irritates me even more is that I want to left click the buttons and tell it to open in a new tab, so I can start browsing an entity with a number of browsers. Does not work :(

So, yes, whereas I totally agree with your point, I simply do not know how to improve it. Maybe someone here has a clue on this Web technology and HTML stuff, and may give me a pointer. I really would like to improve this.

> You could also add Chris Gutteridge's graphite:
> http://graphite.ecs.soton.ac.uk/browser/?uri=http://dblp.rkbexplorer.com/id/
> people-cc0ade985aca66c4827fb1113d5cc7db-5fc9c2a4e4ac279b81996fe7b32962de

Added. But don't expect me to make nice logos for further added browsers :)
Again, browser makes, make nice logos for me -- 160*100 and 128*80
(and special thanks to Daniel Schwabe for actually doing that!)

> Disco seems to be giving 500 at the moment, in case that means you got
> something wrong.

Looks like it was a temporary glitch on Disco's side. It works for me again.

> Visinav gives a poor result for your nytimes URI (and my stuff) - I guess
> that is an issue for visinav, Evan and us, though.

Mostly with VisiNav as it is working on its own cache of the Semantic Web, and not on live loaded data.

Thanks for your great comments!

Cheers,
Denny


> Best
> Hugh
> 
> On 05/10/2010 20:46, "Denny Vrandecic" <denny.vrandecic@kit.edu> wrote:
> 
>> I am happy to announce the LOD browser switch!
>> 
>> Hope you enjoy it.
>> 
>> (The rest of the message is only relevant for Semantic Web application
>> developers who want to link to a Semantic Web data browser. All others may
>> stop reading now and spend some quality time on saving the world.)
>> 
>> == In Short ==
>> 
>> If you wondered what Semantic Web browser to use in your application, or,
>> because you believe in giving the user the choice, you ended up with including
>> a number of them, thus cluttering your interface with half a dozen links that
>> are hard to explain to the end user -- both problems I previously had
>> repeatedly -- then here's the solution. Instead of linking to any browser
>> specifically, just link to the LOD Browser Switch here, with the URI you want
>> your user go to:
>> 
>> http://browse.semanticweb.org/?uri=$Put the target URI here$
>> 
>> Click here to see the page (but as said, it is a very boring page to go to):
>> 
>> <http://browse.semanticweb.org>
>> 
>> == A bit longer ==
>> 
>> Using a browser switch has a number of advantages:
>> * Due to adding "yet another layer of indirection", you have the following
>> advantages:
>> ** you do not have to keep up to date with the URLs of the different browsers.
>> They do not change often, but some did in the past. The switch does that for
>> you.
>> ** you do not have to update your app in order to add another browser, or
>> remove a dysfunctional one
>> ** the switch has a higher probability of being online than any of the
>> individual browsers, because our code is so small and simple. Many of the
>> individual browsers had issues in the last few days while testing.
>> * The URI of the browser switch is probably easier to remember than the URI of
>> the individual browsers
>> * You give your users more freedom. Embrace the diversity
>> * You give newly developed browsers a better chance to become known, as we can
>> add them easily on a central place
>> 
>> Once the user settled on a specific browser, they may tell the switch to
>> remember the selection. From now one, they will be taken to their selected
>> browser without even noticing the browser switch.
>> 
>> You can find more information on the page, I have put up a small documentation
>> for the user and the developer.
>> 
>> <http://browse.semanticweb.org>
>> 
>> Some questions or comments you may have:
>> 
>> Why is not my browser there?
>> Cause I forgot it, sorry. Send me an email, and two graphics I can use for
>> buttons, of the size 160*100 and 128*80, and the URL to address.
>> 
>> You are addressing my browser wrong!
>> Sorry, my bad. Contact me, tell me what I am doing wrong, and let's try to fix
>> it together.
>> 
>> I dislike the logo / description you have chosen for my browser.
>> Sorry for that, I tried my best. Send me a new one (160*100 and 128*80), and I
>> will replace it.
>> 
>> Can you take my browser down for some time?
>> Sure, no problem, just let me know.
>> 
>> Can you improve X?
>> Depends. Let me know your suggestions. If there is interest, I will also
>> upload the code somewhere. It's just, you know, it's so little code that I
>> don't think it warrants the effort, but hey, if you disagree, let me know what
>> you would like to do, and I will upload it somewhere.
>> 
>> This is awesome! I want to thank you for that!
>> Write me an email and do so. You can also do so publicly on this list. Or
>> invite me to something next time you see me. Or cite my papers more. Lot's of
>> ways to make Denny happy.
>> 
>> 
>> Cheers,
>> Denny
>> 
>> 
> 
Received on Friday, 8 October 2010 22:47:14 UTC

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