Friday, May 28, 2010

Second FISE Hackathon

At this week's IKS meeting at Paderborn the second FISE Hackathon took place. FISE is an open source semantic engine that provides semantic annotation algorithms like semantic lifting. The actual annotation algorithms are pluggable through OSGi. Existing CMSs can integrate the engine through an HTTP interface (inspired from Solr). Last week, Bertrand gave an introductory talk about FISE that is available online.

There was no explicitly set goal for the second Hackathon. Rather, the existing code base was extended in various different directions. Some examples:

  • a language detection enhancement engine (I am particularly glad to see this - automatic language detection in CMSs is a pet passion of mine)
  • a UI for FISE users that allows humans to resolve ambiguities
  • myself, I coded a JCR-based storage engine for the content and annotations

There was also a good amount of work done on the annotation structure used by FISE and documented on the IKS wiki.

A complete report of the Hackathon is available on the IKS wiki (the only thing it fails to mention: the event's good spirit).

One major non-code step was to get many participants up to speed with the FISE engine and enable them to deploy the engine as well as get accustomed with the architecture and code base.

It was only last week that I took a deeper look into FISE. I like its architecture a lot. The HTTP interface makes it easy to play with FISE as well as integrate it. Even more important, the pluggable archirecture that is mostly inherited from the OSGi services architecture makes FISE very flexible and extensible. This is particularly important given the different natures of the enhancement engines that we want to be able to deploy (hosted services, proprietary, open source, etc). I consider FISE to be a particularly well suited use case for OSGi.

(cross-posting from here)