[Baypiggies] [CubicWeb 3.0.0 release] - Python Semantic Web Application Framework

Sandrine Ribeau sandrine.ribeau at gmail.com
Tue Jan 6 22:57:56 CET 2009

On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 10:04 AM, Alec Flett <alecf at flett.org> wrote:

> Ok, so I was drawn in by the semantic web buzzwords, but just couldn't
> figure out is what makes this a "semantic web" framework?

Semantic web describes relationships between `things` and properties of
`things`. This is what our framework does: defining data model and use the
web to distribute it. We define a language to access the data that is easy
to read and describes relations between objects: RQL. This is what makes our
framework a semantic web framework.

> I also don't mean to knock this but I feel like there are seeds of
> interesting ideas here and I just can't tell how flushed out they are, or
> how they differ from existing frameworks..

What makes our strength too is our view selection mechanism which empowers
an easy flexibility in the user interface customization.
RQL, Relations Query Language, is what is going to make a difference with
django-like frameworks for several reasons.

  1. accessing data is *much* easier with it. One can write complex
     queries with RQL that would just be impossible to define or unreadable
     using an object/filter suite of method calls.

  2. it offers an abstraction layers that allows to have a single
     framework that runs on multiple back-ends. We have not published the
     SQL backend yet (still working on separating it clearly from other
     backends), but we already have components (pieces of schema and views)
     that run both on SQL and AppEngine.

> For instance, I see it has a means for building a model by connecting
> objects together, but how is this different than SQLAlchemy/SQLObject and
> the like? It's own storage mechanism? Is that like Zope?

What makes our framework unique is that it is multi-sources and you can
switch from LDAP to SQL database to AppEngine datastore without having to
change a line of code of the web interface. We work with objects that
connects to LDAP, SQL source or SVN in a totally transparent way.

> The views stuff is kind of interesting but yeah, the "template" language is
> .. lacking?

As I was saying in the previous email, we do not believe that template
languages are appropriate and efficient, based on our experience. But our
framework does allow to use template languages. As first, a couple of years
ago, we were using a template language like SimpleTAL which is a pure python
module. We just stopped using it.

> I also didn't see any obvious ways to connect to other semantic-web-like
> data services that are already out there, like existing SPARQL sources? Am I
> missing something?

> Please, let us know what makes this unique! I really am curious...

I hope I answered your questions and raised your interest in CubicWeb.
If not, I will be happy to try again :)


> Alec
> On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 9:36 PM, Sandrine Ribeau <sandrine.ribeau at gmail.com
> > wrote:
>> Dear Baypiggies,
>> I am pleased to announce the release of one project I have been working
>> with recently and will be working with in the future.
>> I would be pleased to answer any questions and/or guide you through your
>> experiments with CubicWeb.
>> I will also be happy to present it during one of the baypiggies meeting.
>> Enjoy!
>> Sandrine.
>> What is CubicWeb?
>> -----------------
>> With CubicWeb, the Semantic Web is a construction game!
>> CubicWeb_ is a semantic web application framework, licensed under the
>> LGPL, that
>> empowers developers to efficiently build web applications by reusing
>> components
>> (called cubes) and following the well known object-oriented design
>> principles.
>> Its main features are:
>>     * an engine driven by the explicit data model of the application,
>>     * a query language named RQL similar to W3C's SPARQL,
>>     * a selection+view mechanism for semi-automatic XHTML/XML/JSON/text
>> generation,
>>     * a library of reusable components (data model and views) that fulfill
>> common needs,
>>     * the power and flexibility of the Python programming language,
>>     * the reliability of SQL databases, LDAP directories, Subversion and
>> Mercurial for storage backends.
>> Being built since 2000 by an R&D project still going on today, supporting
>> 100,000s of daily visits at some production sites, CubicWeb is a proven
>> end to
>> end solution for semantic web application development that promotes
>> quality,
>> reusability and efficiency.
>> The unbeliever will read the quick overview_ of CubicWeb.
>> The hacker will join development at the forge_.
>> The impatient will move right away to installation_ and set-up of a
>> CubicWeb
>> environment.
>> .. _cubicweb: http://www.cubicweb.org/
>> .. _overview:
>> http://www.cubicweb.org/doc/en/A020-tutorial.en.html#overview
>> .. _forge:
>> http://www.cubicweb.org/project?vtitle=All%20cubicweb%20projects
>> .. _installation:
>> http://www.cubicweb.org/doc/en/C010-setup.en.html#miseenplaceenv
>> Home page
>> ---------
>> http://www.cubicweb.org/
>> Download
>> --------
>> http://ftp.logilab.org/pub/cubicweb/
>> Mailing list
>> ------------
>> http://lists.cubicweb.org/mailman/listinfo/cubicweb
>> --
>> Sandrine Ribeau
>> logilab.fr  - logilab.org
>> _______________________________________________
>> Cubicweb mailing list
>> Cubicweb at lists.cubicweb.org
>> http://lists.cubicweb.org/mailman/listinfo/cubicweb
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