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RE: New semantic web related project - Finndesign Liitin

From: Jukka Tuominen <jukka.tuominen@finndesign.fi>
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2011 14:03:10 +0300
To: "Bob Ferris" <zazi@smiy.org>, <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-ID: <IDEKILMNNCEAPIAMCIAOOEHDNCAA.jukka.tuominen@finndesign.fi>

Hi Bob and everyone,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: semantic-web-request@w3.org [mailto:semantic-web-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Bob Ferris
> Sent: 15 September 2011 11:11
> To: semantic-web@w3.org
> Subject: Re: New semantic web related project - Finndesign Liitin
> Hi Jukka,
> first I would like to welcome you on the SWIG list. I'm happy to see
> someone with a strong UI modelling background here.

It took a while and two attempts to get through, but I already feel welcome,

> Generally, your project sounds very interesting and visionary (I guess
> such a system/application is the dream of nearly everyone here at this
> list; I especially see parallels to the general vision of the WWW (as
> outlined by timbl) and REST architectural style (as outlined by R.T.
> Fielding)

I'm extremely happy to hear that :) I'll take a look at REST, thanks for the

- is it/could it be another Web?).

Big words :) Naturally we are flattered, but I think a slightly more modest
contribution could be a combination of adding some evolutionary
characteristics to web and some differential functions to live in parallel
with existing web. But it is true, while using Liitin daily for about six
months now (mainly to develop itself), I do look web and computing in
general through different glasses.

> I especially like the
> following sentence:
> "Even though the implementation of Liitin is quite complex, the user or
> even an automated process, never needs to deal with the complexity."
> Which is a key argument - the user doesn't and shouldn't matter about
> the technology utilized in the background.

We have had positive feedback from test users about the overall concept and
ease of use among other things, I'm glad to say. Sadly, secondary activities
often eat the major portion of time and energy, or even prevent improvements
and innovations to take place. If this were one-time-only activity it could
be bearable, but just letting time go by causes changes to underlaying
systems. Automated processes tolerate changes even worse.

> I guess, that many readers of this list are interested in the concrete
> Semantic Web technologies you've utilised/will utilize via realizing
> your project.

As mentioned, this is a field of interest rather than expertise to us, but I
hope you find the following points useful:

- You may store information either as each atom as a separate object, or as
collected units (RDF, OWL..). I would see the former approach more
recommendable, since each atom can be treated separately (even have
different authors) and the methods are also separated.

- There is no single and universal metadata scheme trying desperately to
cover all cases now and in the following decades. Instead, Liitin provides a
range of possibilities to let development take place in public and in a
persistent manner. For example, each object can either embed their own
metadata, or the metadata can be placed in a separate object.

- Liitin has Scheme as a built-in programming language/scripting language
(only one, not separate as Java and Javascript). It's a LISP language and
often used in research world, such as in artificial intelligence. Also,
there are several Prolog extensions to it. In Scheme, even functions are
treated as data, so you can use Scheme to manipulate even methods, or create
programs creating programs. Or you can even create a new domain specific
language. In Liitin, a single top-level call can cover any level of
abstraction, access any objects (data, functions, GUI, device control,
external Internet communication...), which you can pass on to another Liitin
user like a URL or short message without worrying about existence,
compatibility or other conventional bottle necks.

- You can make conventional looking and behaving GUIs, yet accessing
transparently persistent content and even the GUI being such itself. Basic
users will not need to know Scheme.

- A simple visual programming interface is being developped to make Liitin
even more approachable.

To put the above mentioned features to concrete use cases, you could for
example store systems like WordNet and OpenCyc in Liitin together with their
functionality, and utilities such as Protege. You could either use them for
their original purposes, or build something on top of them in a persistent

>Furthermore, is it possible to check out this piece of
> software somewhere and somehow?
> Cheers,
> Bo

Liitin isn't yet in mass deployment phase, but the system is functional and
we have already created some test accounts for users around the world. We'd
be interested in a few pilot users that are familiar with both Semantic Web
and Scheme, if any here? There are a few (Scheme) developer-oriented
screencastings originally created to communicate about the concept. These
may not be particularly useful for most people, however.


br, jukka

> On 09/13/2011 01:44 PM, Jukka Tuominen wrote:
> > Hi all!
> >
> > I'd like to introduce you to a project that you may find interesting. It
> > didn't start as specifically semantic web related, but perhaps
> that's one of
> > the reasons that it may bring a new perspective to it.
> >
> > There are many aspects to the project, but related to semantic
> web I'd like
> > to bring forward a few characteristics that you may find of particular
> > interest.
> >
> > - Whereas software and hardware platforms come and go frequently, the
> > essence of knowledge and methods may last from generations to
> generations.
> >
> > - To be able/willing to build on top of somebody else's work,
> you need to
> > trust its future existance and predictable behaviour.
> >
> > - There are lots of great free software and utils out there
> even today, but
> > due to incompatibilities and overall complexity to setup a working
> > environment, they are often out of the reach of most of us. Or
> it's just not
> > worth the trouble. You'd rather contribute to your own field of
> expertise.
> >
> > Our project Finndesign Liitin is addressing these issues in a
> new way, yet
> > trying to keep it very simple to the user. You pretty much just walk/log
> > into a ready-made environment, and will have access to all personal and
> > public data and methods in a compatible and persistent manner.
> >
> > Please, have a look at the project page for details at
> > http://liitin.finndesign.fi
> >
> > Eventhough I'm very interested in things that semantic web is
> addressing, my
> > primary field of expertise is in user interface design
> (industrial design
> > education). Therefore I'd be very interested in your
> professional opinion on
> > how Liitin might be suitable for your needs, or how it may need to be
> > tweaked in order to suit it better.
> >
> > The project page may not cover all details, so I'd be glad answer any
> > questions.
> >
> >
> > Best regards,
> > Jukka Tuominen, Finndesign
Received on Thursday, 15 September 2011 11:03:53 UTC

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