Thursday, December 07, 2006

Drilling Down into Forms

In addition to the ability to customize form layouts, version 1.4 of TopBraid Composer also introduces a new capability to "drill down" into resources without leaving the current view. Whenever a resource is linked through an RDF property, TopBraid users can open a nested sub-form of the linked resource. In the following screenshot, the user has drilled down into the definition of the class Contact without losing the context of where he or she was.

Of course the nested sub-forms are fully editable, including drag and drop etc. It is now also possible to follow links into blank node structures, as shown below.

Low-level RDF junkies may even drill into the triples of OWL class definitions:

Since we have experimented with this feature I can barely imagine how people ever did ontology design without such capabilities. RDF's graph-based design makes drilling down and out a natural way of designing structures. In particular though, these nested forms make it easy to create intermediate objects that serve as reified links, or (anonymous) objects that are only relevant in the context of others.

We have also generalized the ability to open and close specialized editors on forms into a new Eclipse plug-in type. For example, if a link points to an image, then the form can display the image...

... or if the object of the triple is a web page, you can also display an embedded browser...


At 11:31 AM, Blogger Holger Knublauch said...

I forgot to mention that once a nested form is open, you can right-click on it to see widgets for all matching properties. Alternatively you can drag and drop properties from the Properties View into the subform.


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