Posted:November 10, 2009

Sweet Tools Shatters the Sound Barrier

Sweet Tools breaks sound barrier

New Release Expands to 810 Tools; Gets Major Structured Data Update

It has been eight months since the last major update to Sweet Tools, AI3‘s listing of semantic Web and -related tools. With today’s release, there are now a total of 810 tools listed, crashing through the sound barrier of 761 tools. With the retirement of 19 prior tools, this new listing represents an increase of 93 tools, or 13%, from the previous version that listed 736.

But simply adding to the tools listing is not the cause of this longer than normal period between updates.

This little Sweet Tools dataset is now showing the way to a couple of exciting innovations:  new generic ontology-driven applications for structured data; and, tools for authoring structured data via spreadsheets.

We deal with the former in this post. I will deal with the spreadsheet business in a subsequent post.

Summary of Major Changes

So, here is the summary of major changes in this new listing:

  • Sweet Tools conStruct Structured ViewA completely new structured data view of the listing, courtesy of Structured DynamicsstructWSF and conStruct open source frameworks. This version can be viewed on the conStruct SCS Web site (pick the Sweet Tools dataset). You can compare this server-side presentation and version to the client-side JavaScript version using Exhibit that has been part of this blog for some time
  • A new structural organization of the tools into an ontology that relates portions of the ACM classification and  UMBEL to the tools categories. This provides richer retrievals and inspections on the conStruct version (the Exhibit version remains fairly “flat” in structure)
  • In light of the above, refined tools classifications, and, of course,
  • The increase in coverage to 810 tools.

To see the major Sweet Tools page for this updated listing in its existing format, filter on ‘New’ under New or Existing? to see the recent additions. Alternatively, you can also see this same filtering using the conStruct structured data view by searching on the Status attribute using the value ‘New’; see example here.

See the new Sweet Tools structured data display at conStruct!

Structured Data via conStruct

Though still formative, the most exciting change with the Sweet Tools listing is this new presentation via conStruct. It is a structured data Web services framework with a UI, all offered as a set of modules to Drupal. To kick the tires with this new system, you may want to look at:

BTW, there are some helpful documentation pages that show how all of these various tools work and more, such as, for example, Browse. (Also, BTW, as a demo user, you also are not seeing all of the write and update tools, either; again, see the documentation.)

The essential underlying basis to conStruct is the structWSF Web services framework. There are still some aspects to this system that we feel are incomplete and we are working on.  Some of these things include dropdown selections (controlled vocabulary selects); easier template creation; and intuitive template re-use. Nonetheless, these additions will come quickly, and what is here is already a great demonstration of how structured data can drive generic tools and interfaces.

As I said:  More on this in a later post.

Updated Statistics

The updated Sweet Tools listing now includes nearly 50 different tools categories. The most prevalent categories are browser tools (RDF, OWL), information extraction, parsers or converters, composite application frameworks and general ontology tools. Each accounts for more than 8% — or more than 50 tools — of the total. This breakdown is as follows (click to expand):

Sweet Tools ApplicationsThere are no real discernable trends in application tool categories over the past couple of years.

As for the languages these applications are written in, that has stayed pretty steady, too. Java is still the leading language at about 46%, which has been very slightly trending downward over the past three years or so. PHP has increased a bit as well. The current splits are (click to expand):

Prior Updates

Background on prior listings and earlier statistics may be found on these previous posts:

With interim updates periodically over that period.

Note: Because of comments expirations on prior posts, this entry is now the new location for adding a suggested new tool. Simply provide your information in the comments section, and your tool will be included in the next update.

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Sweet Tools Shatters the Sound Barrier

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New Release Expands to 810 Tools; Gets Major Structured Data Update It has been eight months since the last major update to Sweet Tools, AI3‘s listing of semantic Web and -related tools. With today’s release, there are now a total of 810 tools listed, crashing through the sound barrier of 761 tools. With the retirement […]

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