An interactive Turtle shell


Wouldn't it be nice to have an interactive environment where you quickly hack together an RDF model and then show it to your clients or colleagues in a more accessible format - i.e. a diagram?

Don't know if there's anything like that already, but the other day while polishing up the OntosPy library I've taken a couple of hours of fun-coding and put together a module that lets you do that.

The idea is simple: load an interactive environment where you can quickly sketch out a few ideas using the (very readable) Turtle rdf format.

Then export it onto a different representation e.g. a graphical one, so that it can be shown to people. Or just to keep working on it via a medium that offers different affordances.

So here it is:

[michele.pasin]@here:~/code/python>sketch.py Good morning. Ready to Turtle away. Type docs() for help. In [1]: docs()

====Sketch v 0.2\====

add() ==> add statements to the graph ...........SHORTCUTS: ...........'class' = owl:Class ...........'sub' = rdfs:subClassOf ...........TURTLE SYNTAX: http://www.w3.org/TR/turtle/

show() ==> shows the graph. Can take an OPTIONAL argument for the format. ...........eg one of['xml', 'n3', 'turtle', 'nt', 'pretty-xml', dot']

clear() ==> clears the graph ...........all triples are removed

omnigraffle() ==> creates a dot file and opens it with omnigraffle ...........First you must set Omingraffle as your system default app for dot files!

quit() ==> exit

====Have fun!====

In [2]: add() Multi-line input. Enter ### when finished. :person a class :mike a :person :person sub :agent :organization sub :agent :worksIn rdfs:domain :person :worksIn rdfs:range :organization :mike :worksIn :DamageInc :DamageInc a :organization

In [3]: show() @prefix : <http://this.sketch#> . @prefix bibo: http://purl.org/ontology/bibo/ . @prefix foaf: http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/ . @prefix npg: http://ns.nature.com/terms/ . @prefix npgg: http://ns.nature.com/graphs/ . @prefix npgx: http://ns.nature.com/extensions/ . @prefix owl: <http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#> . @prefix rdf: <http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#> . @prefix rdfs: <http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#> . @prefix skos: <http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/core#> . @prefix xml: <http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/namespace> . @prefix xsd: <http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#> .

:mike a :person ; :worksIn :DamageInc .

:worksIn rdfs:domain :person ; rdfs:range :organization .

:DamageInc a :organization .

:organization rdfs:subClassOf :agent .

:person a owl:Class ; rdfs:subClassOf :agent .

In [4]: show("xml")

<rdf:RDF    xmlns\="http://this.sketch#"    xmlns:rdf\="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#"    xmlns:rdfs\="http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#" > <rdf:Description rdf:about\="http://this.sketch#mike"> </rdf:Description> <rdf:Description rdf:about\="http://this.sketch#organization"> </rdf:Description> <rdf:Description rdf:about\="http://this.sketch#DamageInc"> </rdf:Description> <rdf:Description rdf:about\="http://this.sketch#person"> </rdf:Description> <rdf:Description rdf:about\="http://this.sketch#worksIn"> </rdf:Description> </rdf:RDF>

In [5]: omnigraffle()

saves a dot file and tries to open it with your default editor

if you're on a mac and have omnigraffle - that could be the one!

In [6]: quit()

If you are mac based and you have associated .dot files to the excellent Omnigraffle app, you'd see something like this:

Sketch Screen Shot 2014 10 12 at 10 12 48

Sketch Screen Shot 2014 10 12 at 10 13 32

That speeded up my work quite a bit - especially in situations where you don't mind about precision but are more interested in quickly showing the merits of a modelling approach.

Any comments or ideas on how to develop this further?

Cite this blog post:


Michele Pasin. An interactive Turtle shell. Blog post on www.michelepasin.org. Published on Oct. 12, 2014.

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