“Weaving a Semantic Web Across OSS Repositories: Unleashing a New Potential for Academia and Practice” published

A new paper of ours was just published. If you’re curious about all that Semantic Web and Linked Data hype and how it would impact forges and other software development tools, and the link with Open Source development platforms, then, read this :

Weaving a Semantic Web Across OSS Repositories: Unleashing a New Potential for Academia and Practice
(DOI: 10.4018/jossp.2010040103)
Authors: Olivier Berger (Institut Telecom, France); Valentin Vlasceanu (Institut Telecom, France); Christian Bac (Institut Telecom, France); Quang Vu Dang (Institut Telecom, France); Stéphane Lauriere (Mandriva, France)
in International Journal of Open Source Software & Processes (IJOSSP) Volume: 2, Issue: 2 (2010), Pages: 29-40 pp.

Here’s the abstract:
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Some news of our efforts around OSLC-CM and future plans

OSLC-CM V1 is a proposed standard for REST APIs of bugtrackers, and in our seek for more interoperability in the bugtracker space, we’ve been very interested in it.

OSLC-CM is quite young and only so far implemented in proprietary tools (although elaborated in an open way) on the server side, and as we believe in FLOSS, we’ve started trying to implement basics of server side plugins for a few bugtrackers.
In addition to a demo server that’s simulating the behaviour of a bugtracker, we have started implementing a Mantis plugin and FusionForge and Codendi trackers add-ons (all PHP and based on Zend framework, see this project on picoforge). All are very basic, but we hope they will be the basis for future OSLC-CM compatible servers in these tools.

At the same time we’ve been experimenting with the code already published in Mylyn to support OSLC-CM on the client side. Not everything is public yet in Mylyn, as the elements that have been developped for some connectors of Tasktop to the proprietary tools are being ported to the open source code of Mylyn.
We have thus been able to use the Junit tests classes of Mylyn and tweak them in a way to connect to an instance of the demo server for Mantis (including handling some Basic auth), and be able to retrieve the first bugs descriptions 🙂

Now that this works, we’ll try and add some Java code (maybe reusing Mylyn client libs) to doc4 (being developped as part of Helios) in order to start linking doc4 and Mantis so that this can be used in the Helios platform. This may involve mixing code of XWiki and Mylyn… hmmm… well, we’ll see.

Next steps may be also to try and implement a connector in Python that might be used in tools like bts-link.

Then whichever Python or Java client libraries we have, will allow us to use them inside FetchBugs4.me to connect and harvest bugs of OSLC-CM compliant bugtrackers eventually.

Lots of interesting developments ahead. Stay tuned.

after debbugs, bts-link works now over mantis…

… well, at least on my machine 😉

The goal is to be able to track remote bugs with bts-link even for your own list of (private) bugs that are not in debbugs (see also prevous post about this idea we work on in the Helios project).

Now, I have some bugs in Mantis, and I add a snippet like the following into one of its notes :
*** bts-link-mantis variables ***
Forwarded-To: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=528192
*** end bts-link-mantis ***

And starting from that point, bts-link is able to monitor the (remote) Debian bug it refers to, and notify people subscribed to the local Mantis bug.

When running and if the Debian bug status changes, it will add (via SOAP) another note with, for instance :

This is a note generated by bts-link :
remote status report for 0000029
* http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=528192
* remote status changed: (?) -> pending
*** bts-link-mantis variables ***
Forwarded-To: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=528192
User-Tags: status-pending
*** end bts-link-mantis ***

The same principle would work with almost any bugtracker even if they don’t support forwarded-to tags or any similar remote bug tracking mechanism natively.

The code is here (git), for the curious ones.

EDIT 2009/07/03 : I announced this to the Mantis-dev list hoping there will be some feedback.

Presentation at WOPDASD 2009 : Weaving a Semantic Web across OSS repositories (a spotlight on bts-link, UDD, SWIM)

I’ve just delivered our presentation about the use of Semantic Web techniques and on some of the tools we’re interested in at the moment for our work on HELIOS, at the WOPDASD 2009 workshop.

Here are the slides :

And here’s the position paper (PDF) we had submitted.

Extending bts-link beyond debbugs (starting with mantis)

We want to be able to extend bts-link (or -like services) so that bugs linked between different bugtrackers can be linked to each-other and the status changes monitored, as part of our tasks in Helios (see LinkedBugsMonitoring).

We’ll probably try and work, until July, on connecting to Mantis as the “distribution/downstream” bugtracker instead of debbugs, and see what architectural changes would be required to test that for the Helios platform specific needs.

I’d like to be able to have a working prototype for July, which would also demonstrate the LinkedData and Semantic Web approach to navigating the bugs of the open source ecosystem, so that we can discuss it at the Debconf. I’ve filed a proposal for a paper at DebConf for this purpose : towards more semantic web into Debian servers (UDD and likes) (see previous post on that matter also).

I suppose that our Mandriva colleagues will be able to move on on bugzilla for SWIM/Mephisto so that we can quickly have very interesting prototypes.

I miss time to describe all that in more details (and will appreciate the coming holidays week 😉 ).

Comments welcome, of course.