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 www.perlrdf.org, 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.
I think I managed to raise some awareness for RDF and perlrdf.org, 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.