LifeShare: Refactoring a Web2.0 Social Network for the Social Web

The following screencast illustrates the work of refactoring a Social Network Server named LifeShare written by students at the University of Saint-Etienne in an intense 4 month Java programming session early this year. Saint Etienne is well known in France for having a football team sporting the color green, and ominously being in the 42 department of France. Saint Etienne is also right next to Lyon where the World Wide Web 2012 Conference will be taking place and for which we have submitted a paper relating to the ongoing refactoring shown here.

LifeShare is MIT Licenced Open Source Social Network Server that has all the cool must have Social Network functionalities - such as walls, circles, etc.. - but as shown in the screencast is missing the ability to be part of a larger global network, as most Web 2.0 apps in existence today. In this screen cast we show the first stage in refactoring it so that it can work in the growing ecology of Linked Data based Social Web application, and so that it itself can be distributed across any number of servers. Ie: we show how to start refactoring a Web 2.0 application into a Web 3.0 application. The code is up on Atomic fox's Bitbucket repository.

It is probably better to watch this video directly on Vimeo as it is available there in HD. Go to Refactoring LifeShare.

Note, the drag and drop operation shown currently only works in Firefox.

This is only part of the picture. Some further things we have done but that have not been shown here is to start integrating this server with the Scala based Read Write Web light weight server that allows one to do PUT, POSTS and SPARQL updates and Queries on RDF files, and which is the type of system that will be ideal to allow robots to interact with the data on the server without having to read english. It also has a good initial implementation of WebID, which is needed if this data is going to be easily access controlled. So the advantage of producing simple RDF files on the file system is that we can then publish those files using a Read-Write-Web server (though synchroniation issues will have to be dealt with).

If you enjoy Scala and Java and want to discover the semantic web, there is a lot of space here to do some fun work. So if you would like to participate, let me know by mailing me and we can see how we can all best coordinate our time so as to get people to work together efficently on this very open project. The student who started it, Romain Blin, is busy studying until April, when he'll be able to join us again full time.