Developing Rich Internet Applications as Social Sites on the Semantic Web: A Model-Driven Approach

Developing Rich Internet Applications as Social Sites on the Semantic Web: A Model-Driven Approach

Jesús M. Hermida (University of Alicante, Spain), Santiago Meliá (University of Alicante, Spain), Andrés Montoyo (University of Alicante, Spain) and Jaime Gómez (University of Alicante, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/jssoe.2011100102
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Abstract

Current Web 2.0 applications, either social sites or Rich Internet Applications, share several problems of interoperability when interconnecting different systems. It is therefore complicated to reuse (or export) the information between sources. In this context, where the value belongs to the data, not the application, the use of Semantic Web technologies opens a way of resolution with mature and standard technologies, thus leading to the Web 3.0. This paper presents the application of Sm4RIA (Semantic Models for RIA), a model-driven design methodology that facilitates the development of semantic RIAs (SRIA), to the design of social network sites. The SRIA approach introduced herein combines the main advantages present in each of the current trends on the Web. In addition to these benefits, the application of a model-driven methodology can speed up the development process and simplify the reuse of external sources of knowledge.
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Introduction

A new wave of Web applications is currently under research. Web 2.0 applications (social sites and rich internet applications, RIA) are being enhanced with existing Semantic Web technologies, leading to the so-called Web 3.0, or Social Semantic Web (Mikroyannidis, 2007), combining technologies from the current Web trends (as stated by Murugesan, 2008). After years of development, all these technologies, techniques and applications are sufficiently mature to be tackled from an engineering viewpoint.

During the last decade, the Web 2.0 (O’Reilly, 2005) considerably extended the use of the Web among a large variety of users. Within this broad concept, at least two subtrends can be identified, one associated to a change in users’ behaviour and another technological: the Social Web and the Rich Internet Applications (RIA). Among the most representative types of application within the Social Web environment, social network sites (SNS; Boyd & Ellison, 2008), such as Facebook (http://sioc-project.org/).

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