Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Fascinator @ eResearch Australasia

Well, I gave my first substantial conference presentation today and, although I felt really nervous, I'm told it didn't show. The presentation ran for 15 minutes with 5 on top for questions.

I was asked 2 questions - one by Andrew Treloar on the design and another by Jim Richardson about tagging. Andrew asked about the code model and I thought I'd add some extra clarification: the whole system is a plugin model so already runs as components. What it lacks, however, is an asynchronous, parallel form of communication. So, when you harvest a file, the system will transform and index in serial and then look at the next file. What we're wanting to do is move towards a message queue system (e.g. Rabbit MQ or Apache's MQ) that allows the system to break up and spread things like transformation. This is very useful when you hit a 1Gig video that you want to transform to flv. Time, however, is always challenging us...

Jim's question was handy as I had forgotten to show off the tagging system. We're using the CommonTag schema (http://commontag.org/) so can point to endpoints. We're currently creating a user endpoint using their email as the URI but hope to have you linking to ontologies and places like dbPedia soon(ish).

On the tagging front, I'd like to see us build an ontology/taxonomy/thesearus builder. This may be based on SKOS and will allow the user to create their own thesaurus. For example, in our current work, Leonie could create a list of participants for use in tags. Peter's also interested in hierarchical tagging (e.g. people/duncan) that doesn't require you to define anything formally. With this data we could create at least a basic SKOS for the user at publication time.

At some point in the near future (once it's been cleared) you'll be able to check out the slides via USQ ePrints: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/6090.

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