Talk:Minutes for November 22 2008 SMW Users Meeting at Monitor Group

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Temporary placeholder for meeting notes Dave Forgianni 05:45, November 24, 2008 (UTC)

What about setting up a Semantic Form for Events? Then we can capture stuff like minutes, attendees, agenda, presentations, media, etc. and do fancy stuff with Exhibit to visualize all the event data (timelines, headshots, etc.)?
Jnatividad 16:05, November 24, 2008 (UTC)
Whaddya know?! Someone already did something like this -
Jnatividad 16:24, November 24, 2008 (UTC)

Notes below have been partially merged with the page/article WIP Dave Forgianni 17:25, November 25, 2008 (UTC) SMW USer Group


  • 10 - 10:30 AM - arrival, light breakfast
  • 10:30, 11 AM - introductions and welcome
  • 11 - 11:30 AM - Global outreach
  • 11:30 AM - 1 PM - Academic issues
  • 1 - 2 PM - lunch
  • 2 - 3 PM - Corporate usage
  • 3 - 3:45 PM - Future developments
  • 3:45 - 4 PM - snack break
  • 4 - 5 PM - SMW best practices
  • 5 - 6:30 PM - break into separate sections for further discussions on individual topics
  • 6:30 - 7 PM - wrapup
  • 7 PM+ - head out for dinner and drinks


Yaron introduces himself, smw hosting site, shameless plug for hosting site

Tom Eskeridge Institiue for human cognition etc, has ontology experience, ontology visualization

Molly Forbes, familysearch, using for genealogical research

Don Strigem, Software engineer, investigating smw for search and classification (gene's)

Mark Fieckert, learned about smw at last year, knowledge eng. comp. linguist, sold familysearch on SMW

Fabian Howahl, Univ. Karl. visiting MIT, will give talk about SMW and his research (exhibit project)

?Dave, vulcan, halo,

Mike Axelrod, smw built large MW install for Blue cross blue shield, now at ontoprise working w/

Daniel Hansch, ontoprise, managing halo project, smw+, bringing smw into commercial

?Emile, onto, managing department, PM, business side, pushes in research projects, funded by EU

Harold Solbrig, Mayo clinic, worked w/ smw since one month after inception, NCI thesaurus, NCI wiki ontology, Biomed GT (SMW, Halo, forms) allows federated ontology curation

Robert Freimuth, Mayo, new to SMW, director of vocab knowledge center, lex wiki

Patrick Sp. mindexchange, to substitute corp. intranet w/ SMW, telecom (tmobile), implemented social network based on smw, daimler also

Mike Cariaso, bio-team, builds smw db's for bio, medical research, genealogy, OLPC

Neil Davies, leads tech at eMonitor

Guoqian Jiang, Mayo clinic, development of smw, collaborative ontology development

Clarence Dillon, science apps int. corp, defense contractor, DOD, looking at techs to use to stage db's for analysis of irregular warfare, analyze why terrorist choose that path, how they pick targets, social scientist

Rich Slezak, front-end dev, uses personally to track cycling trips etc

?Rui Huang, undergrad at RPI, developing google map extension

Zhenning Shangguan,

Jie Bau, RPI, uses smw for one year, test bed for semweb technologines, formalization of concept modeling, reasoning apps, uses everday for blog, task mgmt

Li Ding, research at RPI - starting to adeopt smw, trying to implement previously unimplenmentable ideas using SMW, uses of SMW to develop semweb - RPI, map system

Evan Patton, RPI student, devleops dist. query system to access multiple wikis and consoldiate

Mark Greaves, former DARPA, DAMO program (launched semweb, got RDF approved by w3c), now at vulcan, funds ontoprise, extensions include SMW+, programming practices, "rocket fuel for smw"

Markus and Denny via Audiolink

Global Outreach

{ppt available}


Two questions

(from ppt)

1. How can SMW be better-known

2. How can it be made easier to undersatnd and use for non-English speakers?

Mark G.


2. Corporate adoption - supporting companies, LDS church, success stories

3. startups - creating companies around this, confident we will see more in next year

4. conferences - next conf. ISWC, ESWC, corp. world does need reminding, academia is aware, semtech in may, euor sem. tech conf (sept/oct next year). 4 presenetations last year on SMW (most on any single app) at semtech (Dec. 4 proposals due). key venue, had more people than WWW (1000 registrants, 5th year)

5. community needs gathering point,, primarily around halo extensions, anyone using SMW-derived extensions commercially.

Steven Forth comment:

1. uses for sustainability

2. started using smw to explicit learning and PD, creation of buddy groups, sharing of knowledge, SMW great platform for sharing what people are learning

Mike Carioso comment: never seen a good quick crash course in using SMW, 5 minute video crash course (halo video)

  • RPI, onsidering/developing tutorials etc, need real demo, online tutorials, generate help apges, manual vs. tutorial, agrees 5 min video on youtube, JENA mini-tutorial example given,
  • O'Reilly books question asked, has anyone contacted them? authoring help, Oreilly mediawiki book just came out.
  • technical writer
  • Don string family search ? = who is the target audience? who to target first, techies, or general user to illustrate benefits
  • Yaron says impetus has been selling to semweb people
  • SF says get to general business users
  • Don - money was hesitant until they demostrated what they can accomplish to end users
  • SF need general developer community
  • ND - SMW is extension to MW - maybe we need to push SMW to embed SMW in wikipedia?
  • phone - AX?? cover story in german tech mag about SMW, continuing discussions w/
  • YK, is there development in differnet languages?
    • at moment discussion technical tests for diff languages
  • Evan - had SMW test that loaded 2 million records (pages) and it didn't scale well, need to convince wikipedia about the benefit, google search is enough to get general info (in re: to wikipedia implementation)
  • Daniel says - back to question of how to become more visisble, the wikipedia approach is viable - "a new thing which is named SMW - where would they go then to learn more about that?" where do they end up after searching for SMW information? overwhelmed with heap of articles.. from outside perspective paris beijing, smw university roadster, no way for outside people to become informed quickly. if make video, for whom do we make the video (again, target audience)
  • SF will chair a panel on use cases for SMW uses for wikipedia
  • MG - what do test servers test? wikipedia is great, bar is pretty high, to get into that kind of infra requires a lot of time/investiment, can be impactful w/ out having to get into a) performance, and b) ontology developement and agreement at that scale
  • Mike Axelrod - various use cases that appear w/ community that is currently using the tool, fall into two buckets: 1) disciplined approach, we are going to build an ontology and plan it out, 2) ad-hoc, on-the-fly wiki developemnt (bottom up), we can do 80% using SQL... there is a market for things in which new relationships are developed over time (not known up front). good thing ot have both in parellel, from the chaos you can mine for good ideas.
    • Don't know - skeptical about Oreilly adoption, only people who would use this would need edit access to php files. YK replies, he is hosting SMW for people that don't know SMW installation stuff
  • MG - SMW on a stick, plug it in and start it up
  • need to have context for users in re: to "how is this going to help?"
  • Clarence* the tech that makes it work is not what people care about - they care about getting information 99.9% are reading wikipedia, not editing/contributing
  • don't sell SMW, sell an application which is built on top of SMW - must have clear benefit for problem for the customer. USE CASES -
  • YK: if consulting company, you can hide what is actually happening, if you are trying to increase installed base, you must explain the technology
  • YK: how many just came across it?
    • ND: typed in semantic wiki into google to see if it existed, was fed up w/
    • Mark F: already had wiki in place ,then browsed extensions available
    • Jie - trying to find ontology builder, existing wiki didn't work, built their own, never got adopted, in 2006 they saw the implementation from Markus and though better than their system
    • Selie Ying: he encountered in 2006 in ____ demonstration, in 2008 got a referal from
    • Joel: uses in corporate setting in KM capacity, thought they had the most complete financial data model in world using meta data, he stumbled on SMW reading TBL article about semweb, structured meta data stuck in data base (cemetary)
  • SF - need to establish flagship projects, need to create a set of resources, better tutorials, more talks at conferences
    • DF: need at least two tutorials, one for Admin, how to get up and running, one for user - what good is it, create a page w/ relations, ask a question of it
  • MG: conferences are where early adopters come to learn about this kind of stuff, freely available reasonable powerful apps that developers can play with, MovieDB
  • Mark F. adoption point: one thing that makes it more powerful is addition of extensions (open source pros and cons) installation scripts w/ the extensions. INSTALLERS
    • Daniel - this is on the list, installers for extensions, should maintain more links between our different resources. Standard set of LINKS
    • Are we missing one of the purposes of SMW, it isn't how do we install one... wants to end up w/ a loosely federated set of wikis, wants to leverage EXISTING data, relationships. ability to federate, ability to export info that anyone generates.
    • Evan will give presentation that may address some export issues

Academic Issues

Presentation: Li Ding, Jie Bao et al., "Toward Social Webtop using Semantic Wiki"

(See ppt)

RPI extension:

--need education, videos, tutorials, 1, 2, 3 - build your app

Tetherless World Group WIki

  • using queries to generate pages that are useful and up-to-date (also nice design/look and feel), people page, publications
  • mashup map, event, tag, considering merging map extensions (keep alignment on similar extension capabilities
  • queries a wiki to embed content in a different wiki
    •  ? Next to ND: caching for this ext?
    •  ?MG: are these under GPL, where are they, is source available?
    • is under GPL, no promotion as of yet
    • source is available on RPI site

MG: we need to have alignment on publication of extensions in dev/available, suggests sourceforge Li Ding: also

Simple export ext:

(see slide)

  • n3 (embedded in wiki page), tabulator view

SMW best practices (Templates)

  • How to share? export, then import, or copy and paste
  • typed link, property doesn't really show up, templates provided by rpi expose this info
  • YK: where is this?
    • It is a template that uses existing extension, wiki template/markup used as a programming language (mentions 1MB cap?)

SUmmary of ONgoing Work

  • Apps
  • Extensions
  • Templates
  • Theory

Future Direction

  • Academic research
  • Good user interaction (50% of dev time spent on this)
  • Scalability, temp table was full, had issue executing query (could be mySQL config issue)

DH: really is it a set of methods and best practice or extensions? if make category and give name, it has UID, in different language that won't work --JB: different levels by page DH: fears a missing technical layer, building an app on top of SMW, no IDE, how to debug --JB: SMW provides a very good infrastructure, something missing that RPI and libraries can provide (java and c++), hope is that SMW templates in development can be reused by others

Presenation: Distributing Queries - Evan Patton

Sharing info in a ww wiki

AAAA Slogan

AskMany Extension

  • have one wiki ask another wiki a question
    • 2 parts request and receive

Why not use ExportRDF?

  • efficiency, don't want whole triple store

Future Work

  • communicate using rdf
  • parallelize
  • assert entries which are the same (different languages, similar property structure [e.g. name:, has name:])
  • add support for partial queries
  • access control (by triple/object/page?)

?YK: do both wiki's need to have it? can you use special:ask?

  • yes, in future can use sparql

?MG: ACL's, what have you done on ACL?

  • been using ACL, our own

MG: is it available? We need alignment on ACL extension (one here, one there..)

MG: MediaWiki will not use ACL

Yie B: e.g. task mgmt that they use, people don't want some others to see their tasks. protection on triple level, hard to code, seeks further collaboration.

MG: need one validated system to protect triples

ND and YB: always need to set up a new wiki to control access

Presentation: RPI Map and TetherlessMap extension - Rui Huang


  • limitations of the official campus map


  • SMW + google map

RPI Map Architecture (slides)

-Form -Wikitext -Parsers -Template -SMW RDF db -Query -Result -Google Map api -customer

-Features (slide)

TetherlessMap ext

Two parser functions

Semantic Map layer

(slide) Building Search Integrated KML file

Presentation: SMW and Me - Jie Bao

For research For fun and daily life

1. A formalization of SMW -(slide) modeling language -

2. Templage-based Rule Modeling

3. OWL Meta Modeling (by Zhenning Shuangguan)

(see slides)

Formal definition of query language for use on disparate DB systems

SMW-QL -logic programs

Presentation: OWL Meta Modeling on SMW - Zhenning Shuangguan

[insert slides]

Goal: encoding OWL ontologty constructs in wiki


Example Page

Example Class Description

Example Property Description

Ex. Ind. Description



JB: foraml semantics will allow more powerful queries

DV: extensions of current?

Presentation: Semantic MediaWiki and Exhibit - Fabian Howahl (Karlsruhe)

[insert slides]

Building Bridges

Executive Summary

Integration of SMW and exhibit

Semantic Web and SMW have become islands (non-connected)

exhibit - faceted browsing (see simile project mit)

Three Steps

Exhibit has semantic results format

Passes json file from queried wiki to asking wiki

? can you browse the entire wiki content using exhibit ? json gives a syntax, but begs question of common labels and models, we need a community terminology (e.g. FOAF, DC, SKOS)

Lunch Discussion

-Problems submitting bug reports/fixes to HALO extension, updating source code

-Yaron's model works well, svn access, send YK diffs

-NCI challenge does not allow rapid turnaround, if i change a template, is that a code change?

Corporate Usage

Presentation: Mayo Clinic/NCI: LexWiki Framework and Use Cases

[insert slides]

  • presenter ?
  • Tools
  • Framework
  • Use Cases
  • Discussion Points
  • Demo

caBIG Vocabulary Knowledge Center

Goal: create IT program that redefines how research is conducted online

common infrastructure, common tools, vocab/terminology ISO 11179 standard for metadata

Not limited to biological research (need more info)

  • SMW use facilitates ontology change requests from community
  • Turnaround time, NCI - monthly updates to terminology, HL7 quarterly
    • MG: is this BioMed GT? Yes.

Harold: LexWiki and BiomedGT: LexWiki is a shared set of templates based on a model, allows import, editing and export to Protege? (see wiki page)

  • Parallels between goals of this meeting and goals of Vocabulary Knowledge Center, opportunities for synergism between SMW group and VKC?

LexWiki part

Motivation (see slides)

Ontology development becomes community based

Why Semantic Wikis?

[list slide titles and link to ppt and links to URL]

list three tools LexWiki/LexGrid/Protege

? DH: how many users?

  • BMed GT, goto special:statistics to see number of writers (and readers?)
  • recently introduced semantic graphs?
  • searchbox at the top after usability study results

DH: did you customize?

  • PR: yes, we changed the autocomplete function of halo
  • Problem halo works best in article namespace, they are using mostly category namespace, where they don't get all the features of HALO. article-based. Large namespace support, a syntax for article names where first few chars of article name are the actual namespace...

Presentation: Ontoprise - SMW - Daniel Hansch

[insert slides]

Popular Usage

  • callhome feature, info about install is sent back to Karlsrue to analyze installed base data

Applications on top of SMW

  • like a virus, it can be installed for a small group in an organization and then grow to be used throughout

Team Collaboration - german lead innovation project

  • project mgmt application, no workflow
  • no blank page syndrome (pre-configured ontology)
  • eliminates some of the pain of agreement on initial data models
  • competes against CMS and PM tools (e.g. drupal, in re: to process metadata?)
  • working domain is different than PM domain, smw fuses this leading to easier adoption

Compliance - PriceWaterhouse

  • ensure accounting practices are adhered to globally/varied departments
  • multi-language support

UNESCO Repository for resources about oceanography

  • wisywig nice but doesn't handle annotations, users said wysiwig important
  • Approval workflow
  •  ?DF: does this exemplify some kind of ACL power? port this functionality to lower level objects?

Vocab mgmt Volkswagen AG

  • Problem statement
  • Success Factors

Siemens AG - Employee something...

How does Ontoprise bring SMW to the market?

  • examples of why easy

Open Forum for Discussion

1. What is the path for corporate adoption?

  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
  • Common Objections
  • What is the business model for companies that want to do this (companies that want to make a business out of supporting SMW) ?


Mike C.: he's built at least 10 SMW's for people. Uses PerlWikipedia and PyWikipediahe's

  • What are competing apps?
    • .xls, sharepoint
    • integration w/ sharepoint

Mike A.: conservative businesses understand the need for a controlled vocabulary. front-line mgrs terminology is constantly changing. unstructured vs. structured data. get permission from top, then talk to ground workers and see how to implement their changing techniques and vocabs.

NCI-Mayo guys: tried to enforce, jimmy-style, a rigid ontology that lost a lot of the dialog that was valuable. 'the money is in the expert, it doesn't matter if what they say doesn't fit into ontology/vocabulary'.

MG: key sale is a line of business sale, not an IT/data center sale. wiki installations come in as 'line of business' sale.

?: perlscript used to create semantic MW instantly based on data model? used to bridge structured and unstructured

TRAC? subversion + wiki. post-commit hook, harvest metadata from artifact upon submission into svn

MG: What is the intent behind OWL/DL?

SF to MG: How do VC's look at opensource companies?

    • MG: very critically. working on models for this. ecosystem will look like the following: there will be "Tool Co.", a business whic his concerned w/ open source, community mgmt, evangelism around a "platform" (e.g. SMW), then there will be App Co's, selling apps for the platform (?).. build an app w/ a lot of IP on top of it. Also "Visualization" companies.

Future Developments

[insert slides]


  • Category format
  • Support for true n-ary relations (e.g. X assumed the title of president in X year)

Sematic Forms

  • FCK Editor
  • add Halo support into FCK editor
  • SF API, would help w/ integrating w/ other apps, also could be used in workflow editing (change a field in form will auto-update category etc)
  • support for SMW's #declare funciton
  • combobox input
  • editable table input (.xls) replace multiple instance templates (could be used w/ n-ary relations)
  • YB more graphical support, routines added (e.g. create toolbar, easier for people for creating forms etc)
  • Solicit style-sheets for better looking forms
  • Category tree in auto-complete?

Semantic Drilldown

  • free input of text and dates
  • alternate formats for results
  • ui improvements

Semantic Layers

  • extension fully released
  • mapping extension that uses openlayers
  • can map out any image

Data Transfer

  • import xml
  • suggest xml transform 'begin/end'?

Halo Extension (see slides) {insert ppt) (insert/combine slide titles/main points)

  • support for smw data store ineroperation, can store in both jena and smw triple store
  • allows to retrieve query results much more quickly
  • advisable to have both (redundancy), triples stores tend to break down on occasion
  • consider rendering technical metadata tied to article? not the content, only the triples
  • intercepting the query
  • if have jena that contains triples that do not exist in smw store, and you query jena, you will see red links?
  • good question from Li Ding that didn't get captured !!

Web services comments:

  • comment: need to not only fetch a page (using web service), but need to update 'one link away'
    • should be handled by smwupdate engine
  • is it also for 'inserting page', not 'materialization' of new content via web service call, if time 'materialization' of web services will be implemented in core. e.g. send an email to smw and have it make an article. e.g. automated workflow, if use triple/sparql to populate a table based on a query, if red links exist want to go and search wiki for pages that match red links and convert red link to a link to an existing page.
  • what web services are you going to provide?
    • we'll provide bugzilla web service (already provided), amazon web service to retrieve items and prices
    • need wordnet support, can lead to light inferencing
  • how to map vocabulary into web service call?
    • define mapping which maps individual parts of a dataset into a template/newly created article

Data API comments:

Use case: have content mgmt system, want to send content to smw and write it when being created in SMW, also support full-text retrieval

    • interface roadmap?

Improved semantic forms: 'schema last' assumption = start annotating and as it evolves some parts become stable and thus formalized (build it up first, see what comes to the top/frequently appears, and thus is the data model)

    • missed Li Ding's comment here regarding some kind of catch-22

Improved Retrieval I Improved Retrieval II

Improved Semantic tree view

  • believes this is a core component

Project mgmt bundle

DF: see segetech

SMW Best Practices

Mike Axelrod: please need notes, missed, was patterns something

Yaron: how to achieve technically

Need Area on SMW forum for best practices

Collaborative papering?

  • word2mediawiki macro
  • google docs is suggested as a good option for this

Inclusionists vs. Deletionists

Bottom-up vs. Top-down

  • Mike A. - sideways method, data in .xls, want it on the wiki, had to meet with them about how to input the data (via form, template. property fields = admin responsible, business person responsible, roles. normalizing on the fly, takes months.
  • Mike C. - worst practices.. break everything up into smallest stuff, atomic components, make them parameters in a template. 96-well plate, all lumped into info on a single page (uses perl script to make 96 pages out of that one page). unstructured content goes into template that doesn't get seen.

Templates grow increasing complex

  • always write a testpage e.g. template-testpage to check that it is viable as it grows
  • don't include and include sections, puts only category info in that area
  • templates used as a path to a file

Do people add semantics using just the page instead of templates/forms?

Does halo grab curly's or just square brackets?

On SMW Referata there is a page for links to free template template etc

IN lexwiki, goal is take components of lexwiki and model using RDF/standards, skos community, overlapping DC terms

Standardize how we do standards?!


MOAT meaning of a tag

Sharing of NCI working draft models?

Some General Questions

1. Can we get a list of workflow models and/or templates and forms, assign to business types, then review and find best parts of each?

2. Why can't SMW compete directly w/ Sharepoint? Can we scrape a SP site for structure and document names (convert document names to links that would then force employees to locate files and upload to wiki [enabling better version control and collaboration/document building?)

3. Formal procedure for external code contributions. Installers, continuous integration in re: to code submissions from outside sources would need to 1) have a use case/story? 2) not break the build in re: to version control and integration w/ other extensions etc and required software (mysql, php etc, backwards compat?), and then 3) be vetted by appropriate peoples for inclusion given satisfied 1 and 2. Look at mozilla and other open source models in this regard.

Topics for Sunday

1. Access Control

2. Workflow implementation semantically

3. Halo, notion of a common RDF/triple store via Jena/smw data store integrations?

  • group called open ontology repository, wants shared RDF/semantics
Livescribe of Sunday's meeting
 Note: contact Joel if you need access (smw2008 -at-
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