Semantically Enabled Facetd Browser


Providing a user interface for browsing and searching data catalogs is a common task for data managers and other data publishers. Many components of such search interfaces are reusable or can be easily borrowed from other interfaces. Frameworks such as jQuery UI and ExtJS are great for quickly putting together static UIs and even those with dynamic data components. However, there is a significant degree of choreography required to align the UI components of those frameworks with data providing services. Additionally, there is no knowledge of the underlying data structures and semantics, so the UI developer is solely responsible for determining the proper modalities for interacting with the services.

What is S2S?

S2S is a user interface framework that leverages the machine-readable semantics of data, services, and user interface components, or "widgets". S2S automates various tasks in UI development for search interfaces.

  • It choreographs the service requests required to populate the interface with dynamic content.
  • It dynamically loads UI JavaScript (and supporting libraries) as needed based on which UI components are selected.
  • The current framework can implement the behavior of faceted browsers.
  • And, if your data catalog is in RDF, it can generate SPARQL queries over your data with only minimal annotation of the vocabulary your data uses (using the FacetOntology [1]).

In addition to this automation, we claim other benefits to using the S2S framework.

  • The UI code you develop is highly modular, and thus can be more easily maintained.
  • Plus, its reusable, and you can borrow widgets from anyone who shares the URIs.
  • Once set up, it provides a rapid prototyping environment, where new facets or search modalities can be swapped in and out quickly.