Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Gnizr 2.3.0 Milestone 3

Gnizr 2.3.0 Milestone 3 release is now available for download and evaluation. There is no new feature implementation in this release. However, few bugs have been fixed. Other open issues are to be answered in the new year.

Hello World tutorial is now ready

As we mentioned in our previous post, through out the release of gnizr 2.3, we will develop the necessary documentations to help developers to program with gnizr -- adding new functions or altering its existing behavior.

The Hello World tutorial is the first in our series. It teaches you how to setup the necessary development environment for programming with gnizr API. The set of tools that we recommended should help you to be more productive in rapid prototyping and testing. Combining the power of Maven, Eclipse, WebWork and Spring, the tutorial showcases the implementation of a Hello World WebWork action in few lines of coding.

Get started with gnizr programming.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Monitor gnizr Devleopment and Say Hello World

Since the public release of gnizr 2.2.0 on Dec. 7th, 2007, within 2 weeks, we received ~4000 downloads. Thank you for everyone's interest in gnizr. Some users voiced their questions in our user group, and some others commented on our Wiki pages and submitted Issue reports.

New Mailing List

Today we created a separate mailing list for tracking issue changes and SVN commits. Subscribe to this list to receive immediate notifications when users submit new issue reports and we commit changes to SVN.

New Developer Documenations

As reported in our Twitter stream, we are in the process rolling out gnizr developer documentations. Our goal is to provide information to help developers to extend gnizr by either adding new functions or altering its existing behavior.

We begin with an overview of the gnizr design and its database model. We then describe instructions on how to set up a build environment for rapid prototyping and testing -- fyi. we use the same settings in our development. Getting things started, we created a Hello World tutorial to showcase how you can take this building environment into action.

All documentations are in the editing process. We will complete the Hello World tutorial when we release gnizr 2.3.0-M3.

We are very excited about what gnizr can do for the open source community. Not only we want to make it the best open source social bookmarking and mashup application, but also we want to provide a free and open source educational tool for people to experiment with social web technologies and innovate new applications to exploit the power of Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gnizr 2.3.0 Milestone 2

Gnizr 2.3.0 Milestone 2 is now available for evaluation.

Key Changes
  • Added Ajax support to allow links in an OpenSearch result page to be bookmarked.
  • OpenSearch services selected by a user will be remembered in the subsequent search requests.
  • Several bug fixes
See Changelog for detail.

More Documentations, Please.

We are in the process documenting gnizr API, its design and internal implementation. We hope this will help developers who want to integrate gnizr into their enterprise systems or add new functions to gnizr.

There are many different ways to extend gnizr. We have identified at least four. Because different approaches will require different kinds of documentation -- e.g., Java API doc, architectural design discussion and programming best practice.

Currently we are documenting the design and implementation of gnizr user management and user authentication function. If you're interested in other aspects of gnizr development, please drop us an email, we will do our best to put your request on the top of our todo list.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Gnizr 2.2.0 Final Release is Now Available

We are happy to announce the final release of gnizr 2.2.0.
How to install, how to use and where to ask for help.

Some Numbers

At Image Matters we have been testing gnizr on a daily basis. Our local gnizr installation is a central place for IM employees to save bookmarks and share information.

Our gnizr currently hosts:

# of Bookmarks20,023
# of Tags1546
# of Geo-Markers2267
# of Tag Relations319

Yes, 20K unique bookmarks. No, we are not bookmark-addicts. Not all bookmarks are created by human users. Some of which are created by gnizr robot via RSS crawling.

Some News

Last month, gnizr was used in EPA Extreme Social Networking Challenge. If you have new ways to use gnizr, let us know.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Use SKOS for Search Term Suggestion

We have added a new feature in gnizr 2.3.0 that suggests search terms based on user-defined SKOS tag relation hierarchy. Search is an important feature in gnizr, which provides a means for the users to find bookmarks that are created by others in the community. To help users to find information, we must solve two problems: 1) allow users to find information beyond resources that exist within a gnizr community, 2) provide search assistance to users when navigating through a massive amount of information.

We attempt to solve the first problem by embracing OpenSearch technology, which is a powerful way to mashup search results from multiple search engines. To solve the second problem, we are experimenting a Semantic Web approach that exploits relationships between tags.

This approach works as the follows. When a gnizr web application is deployed for a specific community, the system administrator defines a domain ontology for the community in terms of tags and tag relations. In gnizr this is achieved by editing tag relations. When a user conducts search, the search system analyzes the input search term (treating it as a list of tags) and recommends new search terms (i.e., tags) that are either related-to, is narrower than or is broader than the input search term.

Here is a set of screenshots of an actual use case.

NOTE: when you're at the flickr pages, click on the "All Sizes" icon to see a high-resolution image of the screenshot.

Domain Ontology for 2008 US President Election

Let's assume that we are deploying a gnizr web application for sharing bookmarks related to the 2008 US President Election. The system administrator 'gnizr' defines a simple domain ontology in terms of tags and tag relations.

related to: republican, government, liberal
narrower: clinton, edwards
broader: politics

related to: conservative, moderate
narrower: anti:clinton, pro:Giuliani, pro:Romney

related to: anti:cliton, edwards, election
broader: person

User searches bookmarks on 'democratic'

Gnizr user "Harry Chen" does a search on the term 'democratic'. Using the OpenSerach interface, results from multiple search engines are mashed-up in a single page. On the top of search result, he finds a set of system suggested search terms -- i.e., terms related-to, is narrower than and is broader than 'democratic'.

What's Next?

The described feature is still in its early stage of development. It will be available for evaluation in our next milestone release gnizr-2.3.0-M2. Let's us know what you think.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

gnizr in the news

gnizr Open Source was used by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Extreme Social Networking Challenge. here is the link.

Let us know where else you have used gnizr.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

gnizr Contest

We want to launch a contest for the best skin design for gnizr which includes logo and overall look and feel. The winning design will be the official gnizr logo. We are collecting funds to give away iPod Touch for the winning design. We also want to launch a second contest for the best gnizr community website. The winners will receive a support kit for social web addicts which includes T-shirts, mugs and... yes...Red Bull (if you are residing in the US).

We welcome any ideas as we begin to set the rules and method of voting.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Gnizr 2.2.0 User Guide

Gnizr 2.2.0 user guide is now available. The document is in PowerPoint format. You can view it online via Google Doc or download it onto your local machine.

In this document, you will find information on:
  1. How to create bookmarks and define geo-coordinates
  2. How to use folders
  3. How edit tag relations
  4. How to navigate through clustermap, timeline, maps and tag clouds
  5. How to use gnizr robot to harvest RSS feeds
Some gnizr features may be missing in the document. We will continue to develop this user guide. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gnizr 2.3.0 Milestone 1

Gnizr 2.3.0 Milestone 1 is now available for download. This release is intended for feature evaluation, and users are not encouraged to use this release for production deployment.

New features
See Changelog for a complete list of bug fixes and feature description.

OpenSearch Support

OpenSearch is a standard for building mashups of web search results. Gnizr supports the OpenSearch standard in two different ways: (1) allows third-party OpenSearch services to be plugged into a gnizr installation, (2) exposes gnizr's search services as OpenSearch services.

Search mashups are powerful. For example, allows search results to be returned from multiple search engines, and users can view them in a single unified page. Gnizr's OpenSearch page is designed with a similar philosophy. Through (1), gnizr administrators will be able to add/remove new OpenSearch services by editing a simple configuration. Here is a screenshot.

Sometimes it's desirable to expose gnizr searches in other application's mashup -- e.g., publishing the search services of your gnizr installation in In (2), gnizr's bookmark search comes with built-in OpenSearch descriptions.

We like to hear you. Please post your questions and feedbacks to our user group.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Adding Machine Tags Made Easy

Gnizr supports Machine Tag. When you edit the description of a saved bookmark, you can use "gn:geoname=[place_name]" to add geo-location property, use "gn:for=[user]" to suggest the bookmark to another user, use "gn:folder=" to save the bookmark into a specific folder, and use "gn:subscribe=this" to import RSS feed items as new bookmarks.

Sometimes entering those Machine Tag strings can be a bit of pain, especially, when you have to enter the preceding Machine Tag string, e.g., "gn:geonames=" multiple times. While you can use the shorthand syntax -- [predicate]:[value] for predicates that don't have conflicting namespace values, but it still requires some keyboard exercises.

In gnizr 2.3, we are introducing a new feature for adding well-known Machine Tags. In the "Edit Bookmark" page, above the "Tags" input area on the right, you see a row of icons. Click on one of these icons will invoke a Machine Tag Helper tool.

An Example: add location property

To add location property (i.e., add "gn:geonames="), you click on the "globe" icon (see above). You then enter a place name in the pop-up dialog box.

Click on "Okay". The desired Machine Tag is automatically added to the tag description.

What's that '_' (underscore) I saw?

Tags in gnizr are separated by white-spaces. In order to represent a whitespace in a tag, '_' (underscore) is used.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Gnizr 2.2.0 Status

We just migrated our open source gnizr development to Google Code. It will take couple more weeks before we complete the whole process. During the following weeks, we will be busy working on the following (and more):
  • Roll out gnizr 2.2.0 beta for download
  • Setup a Maven repository to serve uncommon dependency libraries (maybe)
  • Test the steps described in HowToInstall and HowToBuild wiki pages
  • Complete the GetStarted wiki page for a 10-minutes overview of gnizr functions
I drafted HowToBuild tonight. The described instructions haven't been fully tested (i.e., don't waste your time trying it).