Buttons

Revised by Seth Russell  7/9/2002

[sailors home]
The Perdicament
The user, with the help of a sailorServer,  can browse information written on the semantic web. But, ususlly,  the authors of this information have not described any buttons to appear which might be clicked to perform tasks; rather it is the user's perogative how to use information from the web, and what tasks might be perfomed based upon that information.   This paper describes methods which the user can deploy in sailor agents to make buttons appear for performing user tasks. 
How to cause events
A sailor agent outputs information to the html page by firing productions in the current saying grammar. Within the grammar production of the python grammar file, you can cause a named event to happen by invoking the following method:
sail.cause('EVENT_NAME')
The variable 'sail' always refers to the current running sailor agent.  You can name the event whatever you like.  For example the standard html grammar at homePath/grammar/html.py now contains the following production:

production['subjectRow']= lambda: \
    '<tr><td valign="top" bgcolor="#ccccff" colspan="2">' +\
    sa('subject') + '</td><td bgcolor="#ffff33" >' + sail.cause('nodeEvent') + \
    '</td><td valign="top"></td></tr>'


This causes a event called 'nodeEvent' to occur in the right hand cell of the subject row of every node that is said to the html page. The current attention is always bound to the variable ?here when the event occurs.
How to write rules
When named events occur, all the rules associated with that event are fired.  A rule is written like this:
rules  (when EVENT_NAME) "PREMIS COPULA CONSEQUENT".
Note that subject 'rules' can occur in any context but it is conventional to put all the rules in the 'urgraph' context.  Note also that the object of the rule is written enclosed in quotes.   The PREMIS is any method which returns a logical state.  The CONSEQUENT usually fires another production. The copula is chosen from one of the following:
then - the consequent is performed if the premis is true
else - the consequent is performed if the premis if false
ohthen - the consequent is performed if the premis is surprised
For example here is a rule:

rules (when nodeEvent) "isTriple(?here type class) then say(classButton)" urgraph.

This rule will cause a classButton to appear in the subject row if the node is of type class.  The class button is defined in the grammar as follows:
production['classButton']= lambda: \
    sa('buttonStart') + '[make]' +  sa('buttonEnd')
production['buttonStart']= lambda: '<a href="inputForm.html?at=' + \    
    sa('subject') + '">'
production['buttonEnd']= lambda: '</a>'

As you can see this will cause a link to the inputForm to appear on the page.  If the link is clicked, attention will be on the subject class when the application page is displayed.  
How to load rules
In version .090 rules are not automatically loaded, but they must be loaded to take effect.  You load rules from any context with the following method:
loadRules(context)
If the context argument is left out, the rules are loaded from the current context.  The appOne.html application has a button at the top of the page to load the rules from the current context.
How to write an application
Writing applications for buttons on the semantic web is now easy.  They comprise two components 1) an html page to host the application and 2) a saying grammar to control what appears on the page.  Version .090 includes an demonstration application that allows the user to fill out a from for any class to make an instance of that class.  You can run this demonstration by waking up the sailors agent included with the release:
homePath> phthon sailorServer.py , , sailors
Then hit this URL with your favorite browser
http://localhost:729/appOne.html
The application is based on the foaf vocabulary and allows you to make your own instances of the class Person, just by filling out a form.  The components of  this application are: 1) inputForm.html and 2) inputForm.py .

This application inroduces two new properties which allow you to provide the information necessary for users of your classes to automatically fill in forms that make instances of your classes:

        
language: semenglish
slot
    type property;
    domain class;
    range property;
    comment "Indicates the potential properties that                      
           describe an instance of the class".
localName
    type property;
    domain class;
    range property;
    comment "Indicates the property that corresponds
             to the local name of the instance".

Please refer to the file foaf.quads in the current release for an example.