Semantic hacking: RDF in Perl

Last week, I attended the German Perl Workshop 2010. It was a fun event and I’ll write more on it in the next post.

I gave a 20-minute presentation there called “Semantisches Hacking: RDF in Perl‎”. At Swiss-Prot, we do all our RDF work in Java, but I got interested in how things look on the Perl side, and the Biohackathon in February got me started on exploring that.

Executive summary: The RDF-in-Perl community is organized at, and the core of the available modules is RDF::Trine and RDF::Query by Gregory Williams. For example code, have a look at my simple demo scripts.

At the workshop, I had an audience of about 50-100 people, none of whom had ever worked with RDF or seriously looked into it. So I first introduced RDF in the simplest way possible, as there wasn’t much time, then showed off RDF::Trine and RDF::Query with code examples.

The talk was well received, and I had some interesting conversations afterward where people wanted to know more about RDF. Their questions mainly centered around ontologies/vocabularies, the additional time required to do this properly, and how to build an app on top of a triple store. I had talked about integrating RDF into existing apps in my presentation, for instance using Trine’s support for RDFa, as_hashref, JSON and other possibilities.

Here are the links to the slides (in German), the scripts I took the code snippets from, and the workshop page for the talk.

I think I managed to raise some awareness for RDF and, and an understanding of the core ideas in an audience where almost no one had had any exposure to these topics, and showed some example code in a way the audience seemed to be able to follow, so I’d say it was a success.


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2 Responses to “Semantic hacking: RDF in Perl”

  1. poisonbit Says:

    Very interesting… I lack the German for the slides… but scripts are funny to read.

    You could tag your nice Perl related posts as “Ironman” and join your feed here:

    It could be nice to spread your posts to the Perl world community :-)

  2. thomas11 Says:

    Hey, thanks for your interest. I’d love to spread the word to the Perl world, but I’m not sure yet whether I’m up for the Ironman challenge :-) I’ll think about some more things to write about soon.

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