IKS project, months 4 to 6: a community is born!

July 17, 2009



For me the major IKS project event this quarter is without a doubt the Workshop in Salzburg at the end of May that I blogged about before.

Talk is cheap and implementation is another story – we now have to implement the ideas discussed there, in my case mostly the search engine and user stories. We’ve got started on those, but most of the work is still ahead of us.

We have also received the first benchmark requirements, where we’ll have to evaluate our product’s semantic search abilities, and create some prototype extensions that allow us to better cover this area.

With so many CMS luminaries at the Salzburg workshop, we have started to create an IKS community – at least when it comes to agreeing on what IKS should be, and that’s great already. Now’s the time to move to the next level and actually start creating useful software for and with this community.


Back from a great IKS project meeting

May 29, 2009

I’m on my way back from Salzburg where the Salzburg Research team organized a great meeting for the IKS project. Flawless organization as usual, thanks and congrats!

Today’s requirements workshop featured an impressive collection of very powerful brains (and nice people to hold them ;-) including, besides the usual IKS suspects, representatives from more than twenty CMS communities and companies.

I was a bit worried at first that IKS, being mostly in a requirements definition phase, didn’t have much to show to those people, but today’s brainstorming went very well, and the results exceed my expectations.

The most important result for me is agreeing to setup a prototype semantically enhanced search engine, that will use metadata and RDFa embedded in web pages to index content. This will provide the IKS community with a testbed for semantically enhanced websites, and allow us to demonstrate the usefulness of embedded semantic information by making full use of that for searching instead of just enhancing the display of search results. The extracted data might also be very useful for our academic partners to run experiments on real-life data that we’re familiar with. We might not have to write lots of code to setup such a search engine, but it’s important to have our own thing that people can also run behind firewalls, if needed to run experiments on private data.

The second result that I’m excited about is agreeing to work together on a prototype of a semantic rich text content editor, where you’ll get functions like insert person or insert company besides the usual insert link and insert image functions. This will allow us to start making our customers more aware of the importance of semantic markup, in a way that’s not too different from what they’re doing now.

Last but not least in my list of results-that-got-me-excited-about-all-this is agreeing on the creation of a list of simple user stories that demonstrate what IKS is about, in a very simple and understandable way, while allowing us to define use cases and features that might be challenging to implement today.

More complete information about the meeting should be available from the IKS project blog in the next few days, make sure to subscribe to that. For now Bergie (who suggested the semantic editor project) has been taking notes on Quaiku if you’re eager to learn more.

To take part in (or just follow) these projects, subscribe to the IKS mailing list which is going to be our communicatios hub.

Hope to see you there – in a week from now, as next week is my cycling-in-France/offline holiday. Looking forward to getting more familiar with the 29er before the next, more off-road trip in a few weeks.


Ready for ApacheCon Europe 2009

March 21, 2009


I’ll be giving three talks next week at ApacheCon, on OSGi, Apache Sling and Open Source collaboration tools.

Ruwan Linton‘s OSGi talk, which is scheduled after mine on Wednesday, also presents practical experiences with OSGi. I’m looking forward to comparing our experiences, and people should probably attend both talks to get the whole picture.

I’m also very much looking forward to meeting new people and old friends there, including the Jackrabbit/Sling folks at Tuesday’s JCR/Jackrabbit/Sling meetup.

Before that I’ll be in Rome for a meeting of the IKS project, talking about requirements and use cases for semantically enhanced CMSes. Looks like a packed but very interesting week ahead – lots of context switches though ;-)

Update: forgot to mention Carsten Ziegeler’s Embrace OSGi – A Developer’s Quickstart presentation, which comes right before mine – attending that one will also help put mine in context, as I won’t cover the basics of OSGi.


Looking for use cases for a semantically enhanced CMS

March 10, 2009

iks-logo.jpgDay is participating as an industrial partner in the Interactive Knowledge project, which aims to provide an open source technology platform for semantically enhanced content management systems.

We are starting to collect use cases for a semantically enhanced CMS – although I’m not 100% sure what semantically enhanced means (and I assume that means different things to different people), I have started with use cases like the following:

When I drop an image of a house in my content, the system allows me to see images of similar houses, and pages that talk about houses.

When I start writing a new piece of content, the system optionally shows me similar content that’s already in the repository, even if written in other languages.

The system allows me to formulate queries like “recent pages that talk about houses to rent in the french part of Switzerland”.

If you have additional ideas for such use cases, or examples of systems that provide such features, I’m all ears!