Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Abiword & RDF Gusto

I recently blogged about updating Calligra to improve its RDF support and bring back support for viewing and editing location information using Marble. A computer loves RDF because it is nice and verbose and allows low level unambiguous expression of semantics in a format that a machine can work with. For a human however, some might find having long descriptors, schemas and the like just to say "meet me at the Mall" a little tedious. One of the many challenges that I see for office applications wanting to offer RDF to the user is making it visible in a subtle way.

Abiword can now colour code parts of the document which have RDF associated with them and tell you how that association is formed, and how much RDF is linked at any point. In the below, the purple text has some RDF associated, and the purple "Mark" I have the mouse pointer on so it shows the bubble text letting you know how the RDF is attached and how much of it there is.

In the future I of course want to let you know more; is the RDF location, contact, event, or related to another domain. It would also be nice to highlight RDF only for types. So, for example if you are interested only in the times that trains leave then highlight departure logistics in bold red. The computer knows what you mean too, so might also want to offer a menu button to check if the train is on time or not.

Being able to highlight like this is a good start because it allows users who are unfamiliar with the document the chance to know exactly where there might be RDF "hiding".

1 comment:

monkeyiq said...

This is in trunk now for those who are interested ;)