Dear VocBenchers and Semantic Turkey cooks,
It is with great pleasure that we announce the public opening of the VocBench 3 development repository.
VocBench 3 is the new version of VocBench, funded by the European Commission ISA² programme, and with development managed by the Publications Office of the EU, under contract 10632 (Infeurope S.A.).
The new version will offer a powerful editing environment, with facilities for collaborative management of OWL ontologies and SKOS/SKOS-XL thesauri. It aims to set new standards for flexibility, openness and expressive power as a free and open source RDF modelling platform.
Another important change is that VB3 will replace BOTH VocBench 2 AND Semantic Turkey's Firefox plugin.
With the development of this new project:
* Semantic Turkey’s Firefox plugin will be no more developed nor supported
* Semantic Turkey is growing as a fully fledged RDF service platform, introducing user management, collaboration, history management, validation etc.. (all the features which characterized the past edition of VB)
* VocBench 3 will provide a web-based UI to Semantic Turkey, easily usable both as a personal editing environment (much easier setup than VB2) or in a collaborative scenario.
Vocbench 3 final delivery is planned by the end of July 2017, though we decided to open up the development repository to adventurous users interested in testing the new features by stepping on the construction site.
References for the download and build are provided here: http://vocbench.uniroma2.it/downloads/
References include links to the latest stable commits for building the platform. Builds based on commits pushed on the GIT site of VB are however generally stable, so (still with the caveats of "hey it's still work in progress!") we encourage bold and brave people to always try out the latest commits ;-)
Concerning the status of the current commits, the main instabilities relate to:
rendering engine: VB renders resources depending on the project model: e.g. in SKOS projects resources are rendered by exploiting the skos labeling properties, in SKOSXL the skosxl ones and on OWL the rdfs:label.
a. we are redefining the user preferences model, so currently there are no defaults for properties and users have to manually specify the language(s) of choice for the rendering through the preferences menu.
b. some past methods from the past edition of ST still exist for resource creation, and they do not exploit the rendering engine, so after creating a resource, its URI or qname will be shown, and the rendering will appear only after refreshing the corresponding panel (a refresh button is available on all kind of tree panels: class tree, property tree, concept tree etc..)
2) The Ontology Manager (OM): this is another big move being carried on in these weeks. Semantic Turkey will be based natively on RDF4J, the latest evolution of the Sesame framework. A new RDF4J-based OM is being developed, and while its development is not completed, the project creation UI will show a double interface for building projects based either on the old OM, or on the new one. A few bugs will probably haunt the new OM, though it will progressively replace the old one, and we are checking the new services only with respect to this new one. Currently, the old OM is the only one allowing for connection to a remote repository.
In these months, the VB site will continue to provide mainly information about VocBench 2, though we will progressively add more and more information with VB3 reaching maturity.
Finally, we are maintaining a comparison table between VB2 and VB3 here: http://vocbench.uniroma2.it/documentation/vb2_vs_vb3.jsf
VocBench is gathering an interesting community and is, at the same time, being developed thanks to it. This means all of the “you”s who will be reading this email are welcome and – even more – encouraged, to provide feedback to really make it “your” platform!
The VocBench and Semantic Turkey Team
Oh…and forgot to mention…
…this is the link to the VB3 announcement on the ISA2 site: https://ec.europa.eu/isa2/solutions/vocbench3 !