Introducing Ontopia REST

It is with great joy that we announce a new addition to the Ontopia framework: Ontopia REST. This new module aims to provide a complete REST implementation for core Ontopia functionality. The module is loosely based on the work David Damen did in the Tropics sandbox project. As such it also uses the well known and often used Restlet Java framework.

Goal

The goal of this new module is two-fold:

  • To provide developers new ways to use the power of Ontopia, without the need for in-depth knowledge of the full Ontopia code
  • To work towards replacing deprecated and antiquated modules such as
    • Webeditor framework
    • TMRAP
    • Vizigator
    • Navigator framework
    • Omnigator

Where the first goal requires only an Ontopia release to realize, the second goal will be an undertaking of its own.

Functionality

A short summary of functionality included:

  • Getting, adding, changing and removing all Topic Map constructs
  • Communication mainly focussed on JSON, by leveraging Jackson
  • XTM, CTM, LTM and TMXML exposing of full Topic Map
  • XTM and TMXML exposing of topic fragments
  • Paging on collection requests
  • Exposing methods in indexes such as ClassInstanceIndexIF and SearcherIF

Status

The module that was added to the Ontopia source contains a big part of the functionality envisioned. A large test suite has been set up to cover all the implemented functionality, containing close to 600 tests. However, there is still work to be done:

  • Documentation
  • TOLOG integration
  • Extensibility
  • Dedicated clients (javascript, java, …)

For this last point we ask you for help. If you are an Ontopia enthusiast that has experience in creating REST clients and that wants to help us out, please let us know!

How to get it

Ontopia REST will be added to the next major release of Ontopia. You can build it from source if you would like to use or test it before the release. You can find the source in the ontopia-rest directory in the master branch.

 

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An Ontopia/Joomla integration

At TMRA 2010 a team of Czech researchers at the University of Economics in Prague presented their integration of Ontopia with the Joomla! CMS. Joomla is written in PHP, so they used the TMRAP web service to invoke tolog queries on the Ontopia server, and then present the results with XSLT. They have a UI for managing this, and even a framework for building user-friendly tolog query builders.

For more information, see the presentation page, which has the full paper and the slides. (Later, it will also have a video of the presentation.)

David Damen becomes a committer

 

David Damen presenting Tropics

 

David Damen of Space Applications Services became an Ontopia committer today. David has been an active member of the Topic Maps community for a while, and right now he is working on Tropics, a web service interface to Ontopia, which he intends to add to the Ontopia sandbox in the near future. (He is on holiday at the moment, so it may take a while yet.)

We will return with more information on Tropics in the near future.

Proposal for new REST API to Ontopia

David Damen of SpaceApps has posted a proposal for a new RESTful web service interface to Ontopia. In a posting to the mailing list he says that SpaceApps is looking for community feedback on the API before they start implementing it later this summer.

At this point it is not clear whether the new API will become part of Ontopia, or whether it will be placed in the sandbox. The community feedback on the mailing list will determine the outcome.