All posts by Peter Shaw

Peter Shaw is the founder of the LocalHero project

LH RDF not just xml anymore

LH Rdf is back!!

Yes development has started again and the first stop is to add additional formats to the output. Previously Lh Rdf only supported RDF-xml and has been designed almost exclusively around that. Therefore to add other formats I have bundled the Easyrdf library into the plugin. When the query string lhrdf is added to the feed URL the Easyrdf parser is invoked to parse the rdf xml output string and the output is then available in various triple formats.

See code extract:

$graph = new EasyRdf_Graph();
$graph->parse($out,”rdfxml”);
$data = $graph->serialise($_GET[lhrdf]);

The format chosen by value of the lhrdf variable E.G. http://localhero.biz/?feed=lhrdf&lhrdf=json

As well as simply being cool, having an option to output JSON is the main benefit as the triples are now no longer imprisoned by the same domain policy.

Visualising RDF with Incontext

Surfing around the internet I recently discovered SURF‘s InContext Visualiser, which I think is a neat way to visualise of RDF relationships, especially OAI-ORE aggregated publications

I also discovered that people have already created a set of WordPress plugins (see: http://ep-books.ehumanities.nl/ ) to visualise books and other similar publications. However blogs do not fit into a book/chapter model.

However given there is already a schema for publishing blog data and my lh-rdf plugin already exposes most publicly available WordPress blog data as RDF using that format. It was an obvious next step to get the visualiser working with the LH RDF output. I have done so and hopefully you think the output is cool.

https://shawfactor.com/visualiser-test/

Introducing LH Tools

Intoducing LH Tools.

LH Tools is a WordPress extension that adds an (ARC-based) RDF Store and SPARQL Endpoint to the WordPress blogging system. The store is kept separate from the WP tables (i.e. it’s not a wrapper), but you can use WP’s nice admin screens to configure it, it and embed it using the large number of developer-friendly hooks that WP offers. It is based on the original work by Ben Nowack.
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The structural weaknesses of WordPress

WordPress is a great system for personal semantic publishing and is more than adequate for the vast the majority of websites. No other CMS can match it for simplicity, ease of use, breadth of plugins, and an active developer community.

However due to its blogging background it has one very substantial weakness. Namely there is no way of easily relating one post to another and detailing its realationship. Of course taxonomies can be used to group posts and provide some form of relationship. However this is not an elegant solution.
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Unethical thieves: localhero.com

Several months ago I received an offer to buy the domain I am currently using for the LocalHero. A price couldn’t be agreed

However I also pointed out to the domain name broker that given I have been using the name LocalHero in the area of local news are services for longer than 3 years I also have a common law trademark on the name in that category. She assured me she had passed this information on to her client.

A week ago I discovered that a Californian company LocalHero Inc offering local services are now trading under the name LocalHero (the same capitalization as my organization). This behaviour is likely illegal, being in contravention of my common law trademark to the term LocalHero in this category. More importantly this behaviour is definitely unethical and high hypocritical for a company for company dedicated to “helping people”.

It is likely i will be taking legal action however I have already started to prosecute this in the court of public opinion and therefore will be putting together a shame file of the people responsible. Stay tuned.

Why javascript libraries stink

JavaScript’s is a language everybody loves to hate, and the language which, more than any other in the modern web developer’s toolbox, people will go to insane lengths to avoid writing directly (witness Google Web Toolkit, JavaScript “helpers” in server-side frameworks, etc.).

Which isn’t fair, really, because (as I’ve said many a time) most people don’t actually hate JavaScript the language; they hate the buggy and inconsistent implementations of JavaScript in major web browsers and, to a larger extent, the buggy and inconsistent implementations of the DOM in major browsers.

Which is why as I have said before I do not like and do not advocate the use of JavaScript libraries. At first glance this may seem hypocriticial given you could argue that the LocalHero code repository is a JavaScript library in itself. However as I have said before LocalHero Code is not a library just a collection of useful functions and ways to harmonise browser behaviour. It is not an attempt to change the way the language should behave or abstract it. Continue reading