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Wilbur and OINK in Python

Those of you who read my SCAI 2006 slides may have noticed that I announced a new version of Wilbur and OINK, written in Python! We are not quite ready for prime time, but eventually the source code will make its way to our repository at SourceForge.

No, this does not mean I am giving up Common Lisp. Unfortunately, Common Lisp just does not run on our phones...

Posted by ora at 09:24 | Comments (3)

SCAI 2006 slides

My slides from the SCAI 2006 keynote are now available (beware, the PDF is 3+ MB).

Posted by ora at 09:11 | Comments (1)



That was my reaction when I read a recent blog entry by Richard Cyganiak where he argues - essentially - that namespaces are bad (my interpretation). He claims that using namespace prefixes in SPARQL queries is superfluous and just makes things harder. He says:

The query processor should match the QNames regardless of namespace. Thus,:name would match both foaf:name and doap:name.

Ouch! Please tell me I am missing something. We decided to use URIs to name nodes in an RDF graph for a reason, so that one wouldn't think that foaf:name and doap:name are the same, or interchangeable, or in any way related. They are, of course, both sub-properties of rdfs:label, but you have a reasoner to tell you that. Don't you?

URIs are opaque, meaning that even if two URIs end in "name", you should think of those URIs as mere identifiers with no semantics associated to their names. Now, it would be a different thing if you queried for things whose human-readable names (i.e., values of rdfs:label or some sub-property thereof) would be the same. Maybe. I wouldn't, but someone else might.

Please, please tell me that I am getting old and I missed something crucial...

Posted by ora at 15:37 | Comments (3)


SCAI 2006

This week I am off to give the keynote at a joint session of the 2006 Scandinavian Conference on AI and the Finnish AI Symposium. This marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Finnish AI Society.

I am happy to do this; last time I attended SCAI was in 1989! I will post my slides after the talk.

Posted by ora at 08:16


The Wizard of Woz

A few days ago I listened to (from a podcast) an episode of NPR's OnPoint titled "The Wizard of Woz", where the host Tom Ashbrook chatted with Steve Wozniak. He was the founder of Apple Computer and the technical "brain" behind Apple II. Great show.

Many, many years ago I had an Apple II+, and in some ways I "cut my teeth" programming the little beast. I even wrote a somewhat advanced Lisp interpreter, and subsequently got a couple of conference papers out of that work (see, for example, this).

Anyway, Woz is my hero, in the truest sense of the term. I also still miss the Apple II...

Posted by ora at 13:48


I am back...

Dear Journal,

I haven't written for a long time, and I am sure you thought I had abandoned you. Well, I am back now, and I haven't exactly been idle during my absence. I have made progress (at least) on the following things:

I also gave an invited talk at the DEXA 2006 workshop on Web Semantics.

More later. I promise.

Posted by ora at 15:59 | Comments (2)