We have received a visitor from DERI last week (PhD student Aftab Iqbal) who’s researching integration of facts about software development tools into Linked Data in order to provide interesting “semantic mashups” of data into IDEs like Eclipse (see his slides). Quite interesting is the choice of ontologies and the results integrated in an Eclipse plugin made available to developers.
This approach is quite similar to the one we practice in the core of the Helios platform (still under development) to integrate data coming from different FLOSS ALM tools in order to create dashboards offering a consolidated view of software (maintenance) process.
Maybe the difference is that Helios does this internally inside a “self-contained” platform whereas the potential of LD2SD presented by Aftab is to do the same on the Web of Linked Data.
Also, in Helios, there are other contributions made for the Mandriva distribution (with links with projects like Scribo and Nepomuk to which Mandriva is also participating) in the form of the doc4.mandriva.org, in order to aggregate, this time, not facts at the “project” level, but for a meta-project (a GNU/Linux distribution) that are quite interesting. See Stéphane Laurière’s slides for details.
We’re also experimenting in the frame of the COCLICO project on producing RDFa data about software development projects hosted in FusionForge instances. (see our progress tracked through this FusionForge feature request). First candidates are project’s DOAP profiles and developer’s FOAF ones, and lots of SIOC to glue it all, and of course other informations relating to a Forge ontology that we’re proposing in COCLICO.
With recent announcements that Mylyn is investing a lot in OSLC, and OSLC being based on RDF, and the advent of the Semantic Desktop starting to emerge (in KDE mainly) on top of Nepomuk, this brings great promises for a great Semantic future.
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.