Halo Extension

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The Halo extension is an extension to Semantic MediaWiki (SMW) and has been developed as a part of Project Halo in order to facilitate the use of Semantic Wikis for a large community of users. Main focus of the development was to create tools that increase the ease of use of SMW features and advertise the immediate benefits of semantically enriched content. Halo and related extensions are both available as stand alone packages and as a pre-packaged bundle (called SMW+), which can be deployed immediately.

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[edit] Features of the Halo extension

The features of the Halo extension can be divided into three groups:

  1. Enhanced wiki browsing - features to ease and speed up navigation and access to articles, as well as semantic data, in the wiki
  2. Improved knowledge authoring - features to allow easy and expressive adding of semantic data to the wiki
  3. Simplified knowledge retrieval - features to query semantic data and access information stored in the wiki


Documentation for the Halo extension can be found at the SMW+ website.

Navigation Features

  • GUI-based ontology browser, enabling intuitive browsing and adaption of the wiki's ontology and lookup of instance and property information
The ontology browser

Authoring Features

  • Auto-completion, suggesting instances, properties, categories, or templates while typing to give possible matches
  • Semantic Toolbar, allowing to quickly inspect, create and alter the semantic annotations of a wiki article
  • Advanced Annotation Mode, for annotating contents semantically in a WYSIWYG-like manner without having to cope with the wiki source text
The annotation mode allows the convenient adding of semantic annotations

Retrieval Features

  • Graphical query interface, empowering users to easily compose queries and preview query results with different output formats
The query interface allows easy assembling of complex queries

[edit] Features of related Halo extensions

Several other extensions were created within Project Halo which enhance SMW and the Halo core extension. Some of them can be applied with a plain SMW and do not require an installed Halo extension. This modular approach provides for a flexible architecture allowing to use only the needed features.

WYSIWYG extension Enhanced WYSIWYG editor for authoring rich text contents. Allows insertion of semantic annotations (in the rendered article), but also the convenient creation of dynamic content by embedding templates, web service calls or semantic queries. (Manual)
Data Import extension This extension enables users to integrate external data into the wiki in two different ways. First, the Web Service component allows to call external SOAP or RESTful web services from within the wiki. Second, the Term Import framework allows to import data (e.g. CSV files or emails) as wiki articles. (Manual)
Semantic Gardening extension The Gardening extension allows you to detect inconsistencies and continuously improve the quality of the authored knowledge via automatic bots. It serves as a basis for the Data Import extension and the Semantic Notifications. Furthermore it provides an import and export functionality for OWL ontologies. (Manual)
Rich Media extension This extension allows the easy upload and embedding of media files such as documents, images, videos and audio files into the wiki. Media files can be attached to related articles, thus preserving the context of the files. Furthermore an enhanced meta-data set is provided, which can be used for querying uploaded media files. (Manual)
Enhanced Retrieval extension The Enhanced Retrieval extension is based on 'Lucene' and provides a powerful search engine for your wiki. It comes with auto-completion, spell-checking ("did you mean" feature) and advanced search functionalities such as fuzzy and path search. The search covers full text contents (also from uploaded PDF and Word documents) as well as elements from the ontology, presenting the results on a unified interface. (Manual)
Semantic Notifications extension Stay informed about changes in your semantic data and receive notifications via email. This feature complements MediaWiki's 'watch page' functionality. (Manual)
Semantic Treeview extension The Semantic Treeview displays a hierarchical view of wiki elements of your choice such as categories, articles or semantically annotated data contained in the wiki. With Semantic Treeview you define once your navigation structure or index and then let it take care of the automatic tree population. (Manual)
Halo Access Control extension Powerful access control for protecting single wiki pages, articles in categories or namespaces and values of semantic properties. Access can be restricted for individual users and entire user groups. An intuitive GUI allows easy administration of the access rights. The extension can also be connected to an external LDAP server. (Manual)
Deployment Framework extension Empowers the convenient administration, automatic download and setup of extensions for MW and SMW (comparable to APT). Extensions can easily be installed and removed withouth having to edit configuration files. (Manual)
Triple store connector The Triple store connector allows to attach a triple store to your wiki. With a linked triple store you can benefit from its advanced reasoning functionality and query the wiki knowledgebase via SPARQL (from remote). (Further information and manual)
Rule Knowledge extension Offers a graphical rule editor for creating logical rules. Rules allow you to state complex interrelations and can be exploited for inferring knowledge. The extension supports the authoring of calculation, definition and property chaining rules. (Manual)
Collaboration extension Enables the commenting and rating of wiki articles. Comments can be managed and retrieved via semantic queries. (Manual)
User Manual extension Provides direct access to help and context-sensitive selection of help pages. Users can submit direct feedback (such as bug issues) and ask questions in the online community. (Manual)
Script Manager extension The ScriptManager includes JavaScript libraries which are shared by different extensions. It assures that every library is imported only once. (Manual)

[edit] Download the Extensions

The latest release of Halo and its related extensions is available at SourceForge. You can also get nightly builds from our public build server. The most convenient way is to install the extensions using the Deployment Framework.

The download section at the SMW+ website contains download links to the Halo extensions as well as to SMW+ - the ready-to-use distribution containing MW, SMW, Halo and other useful extensions (e.g. Semantic Forms).

[edit] Contact and Community

For comments, questions, feature requests and bug reports, please visit the SMW+ website. Get in touch with other users of SMW and the Halo extensions and benefit from the extensive help and documentation at the user forum. There you can also find more information about the features of the Halo extension and SMW+.

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