Semantic Web Development

Semantic Web Modelling Centre of Excellence

Introduction

Semantic Web Development and dealing with complexity is a tricky issue. Representing information is a problem where complexity can preclude any single approach. In order to find our way around large quantities of information it needs to be structured. But the information already exists and is still being created, so this makes it a moving target.

I’m sure such matters will be covered at the www2006 conference at Edinburgh .

The structuring of ontologies from the top down can be useful, but can only be achieved where the ontology developers have some control over the information. Much of web development and other creation of information is bottom up, in that there is no controlling authority. This is good for inclusiveness and speed of development, and something that encourages community, and encourages individuals to create their own content, which is a good thing. In his interview with the British Computer Society Tim Berners-Lee http://dig.csail.mit.edu/breadcrumbs/blog/4 answers a question on ontologies. He talks of a top level ontology that can be created to hold certain terms and the need to find out who is using these terms, so that other web pages and databases can be categorised. This would be achieved using URIs (Universal Resource Identifier) and RDF (Resource Description Framework). In answer to what Tim Berners-Lee hopes to achieve, he talks of this bottom up development that is going on, using blogs, and wikis etc and a possible approach of ‘web science’ – ‘the science and engineering of web based things that have a bottom up Web-like structure’.

I think this approach is highly relevant to my PhD research on user-driven programming, with University of the West of England (UWE – Bristol). Not everyone has the time to learn programming especially if their main expertise is elsewhere. They then have to ask others to do the development for them and this leads to delays and mis-understandings. The approach advocated here could enable visual creation of software by members of a community. Members of this community would not need advanced programming skills if other members with more advanced development skills could create a suitable interface for the creation of software. This could be achieved in a similar way to that used in visual web page creation tools, or word processor and spreadsheet software. Also the members who do possess advanced skills could provide ways of sorting, searching and navigating the programs created using the visual development tools. Members could work with either or both groups, according to their skills and interests.

A good first step would be to link communities and sites that have a mix of those with advanced software skills who want to encourage and enable others to learn to program, and of new starters who want to learn. This could involve those who are willing to try out new techniques to make it easier for new starters to train learn and gain experience.

 

Hiring Web Developers for Your Dental Website Design

The Internet helped businesses reach clients more effectively. It also became a source of information, providing consumers what they need. As such, promoting your dental practice online can be helpful. Designing a website and incorporating different Internet marketing strategies can help attract potential clients. It is important, though, to hire a professional dental website design company for this task.

Why do you need professional web designers?

You dental website needs to have a professional, organized, and lively image to be effective. Creating your own website requires a lot of time, patience, and commitment. Simple designs can take weeks or even months to finish. As such, hire professional web designers, as they can efficiently design your site and provide the results you want. Some web design companies might even offer dental marketing strategies to increase your site rankings.

What to do when hiring web designers

Identify your needs. Choose designs that are simple, yet unique. Determine the purpose of your website: Do you plan to gather feedback from visitors? Are you going to sell dental products? Do you plan to use the site as a communication tool? Know your audience to identify your website’s focus. Determine the number of pages you need for your dentistry website-three pages may suffice if you only plan to provide basic information about your practice. Design a logo to make your website unique.

Choose a reliable web design company. Check their reputation before hiring. Look at some websites they designed in the past. Look at websites similar to your practice. Ask former clients for feedback. Get the services of a web design firm with a record of accomplishment in both designs and practice. Find out how long they have been in business. Know if the designers have experience in handling latest Internet tools and techniques such as flash, videos, animation, and so on.

Some developers focus on providing content and information for visitors, while others concentrate on aesthetic and technical matters. Ask if they can provide specifics regarding the website including number of pages, templates, and technical solutions. The developers must understand what you want your website to look like. Get their feedback when you discuss the website’s layout.

Ask the designers to provide a reasonable timeline for completing the website. Setting the project’s duration can help you plan other things accordingly. Web developers must also be responsible for keeping the project on schedule and within your budget. They should also provide updates and changes as they create your site.

Discuss their rates. Find out if their costs include Web hosting, registering a domain name, and updating the site. Compare costs between Web design firms. While high priced developers can deliver your needs, some designers provide services for affordable costs.

Additional tips

Make sure the Web developers will provide a contract that states their responsibilities, schedules, and payment methods. Plan the maintenance to keep your website fresh and updated. Use flash intros and heavy graphics sparingly. Include a patient information form. Use different dental marketing methods to create an online presence.

Finding Web Hosts for Ecommerce

Ecommerce is big and growing. It makes sense really, because shoppers look at ecommerce sites to get product information and best price without the bricks and mortar overhead. After the shopper gets this information they may go to a bricks and mortar store in their neighborhood or they may check out a second ecommerce site for info and price or they may just buy right there.

Shoppers are buying right there more and more often as ecommerce becomes more popular. And ecommerce websites can take a real share of the market – as long as they have a good web host keeping
them dependable and fast 24/7. The host is a major factor in ecommerce because there are some considerations that some hosts cannot handle well.

So, what should you look for in an ecommerce host? We often think of ecommerce in terms of an online shop for books, CDs, and computer accessories. But there are ever more products available and ecommerce hosts are responding. Ecommerce hosting plans must include a very powerful website design that allows you to create a responsive and effective sales engine. Here are some very key features:

Shopping Cart- A virtual shopping cart should be provided by an ecommerce website allowing a buyer to select one or several products before going to checkout point for purchase. This program should have cookies so your ecommerce site remembers every customer and every item in the shopping cart. Your ecommerce hosting plan must offer one or more shopping cart programs.

Payment Gateway- Ecommerce hosting necessitates provision of a payment gateway so customers will purchase goods from your site with Visa, MC, MoneyBookers.com, PayPal.com , check, or even by
telephone. Before you choose a particular host make sure all your features are compatible and well supported by that host.

SSL- (Secure Sockets Layer) To accept payment online you must have a SSL. SSL will provide security by encryption of all data – like credit card numbers and addresses so that it remains invisible to various computers the transaction must pass through. Without SSL your personal and financial information would be visible to anyone with access to the computers. If your ecommerce host plan includes shared SSL, than you can use the host’s shared SSL certificate. You can get a private SSL certificate if you pay a fee and you have a dedicated IP address. These details must be verified with your host.

Planning- Ecommerce websites need more planning than regular business web sites. You must have a detailed plan for growth so that your choice of hosting services can grow with your site. And you should try to anticipate the addition of new features as you need them. Your host must provide reliable technical support. You will need to use a database to store all of your products and various customer information. This can be complicated, but good hosting services that support ecommerce websites can show you a
demo model or some operational ecommerce sites that you can study. If you won’t have an in-house web developer it might be a good idea to select a host plan with ready-made websites that you can easily add your product pictures and texts. Look at the demo too if possible.

Your hosting provider should guarantee near 100% uptime. The worst case scenario sees your customers unable to bring up your website. Ask about downtime reimbursements for hosting fees and check with
webmasters who have used the host in question. There are plenty of ways to check out the reputation and abilities of any ecommerce host. The best way is to get a list of their ecommerce customers and send the webmasters an email requesting info on the company’s track record.