Publishing RDF views for tastypie/django resources

Here’s some documentation about a hack I’ve been working on to allow publication of RDF views for Tastypie resources (in Django applications).

While working on implementing support for RDF meta-data for descriptions of Debian packages for the Debian Package Tracking System rewrite, I’ve tried and idetify which libraries/frameworks would allow to create some RDF views for Django model objects with a minimal effort.

Ideally, this would save the hassle of writing code, and could just be a matter of mapping some Django model fields to proper ontology attributes.

I haven’t found an existing tool to do so, but it seemed to me that Tastypie could offer a nice starting point. Tastypie (I focused on v. 0.9.15 which is currently in Debian testing) offers some REST content-negociation support, and other niceties.

This post is an attempt at documenting an initial implementation for my problem. I’ve implemented it as some code in the example blog application described in the Tastypie documentation. Unfortunately, it’s not yet a patch that could be applied to Tastypie, to add this as a standard feature.

The code is available in my git clone of Tastypie, based on 0.9.15, and lies in the commit(s) between the example_myapp and rdfviews branches. It needs an up to date RDFLib to work (Debian’s is too old, btw).

It basically relies on the addition of a _rdf_mapping dict in the Django model objects, and an RdfModelResource as a base class for Tastypie ModelResources.

To provide an RDF view for a ModelResource, it also requires to declare a particular MetaClass, and adding a few bits to its Meta subclass.

The principle is that the dehydratation steps of the Tastypie system will replace fields values by their RDF objects counterparts, as either RDFLib Literals or URIRefs. Then the resuting Bundle will be converted to some RDFLib Graph. It is then just a matter of serialization of that Graph to turtle (I’ve not added another format, but it should be pretty straightforward).

There’s a bit of hackish drak magic in the code, in particular when introspecting the Tastypie / Django resource / model objects to be able to dynamically add some dehydrate_FOO methods to perform the conversion to Literals or URIRefs.

Custom dehydrateFoo methods can still be written to process the fields in particular ways.

I’ve added some LDP style paging along the way, so I hope it will be quite usable by LDP compatible tools.

Here’s the result :

First, listing all resources :

$ curl -H 'Accept: text/turtle' "http://localhost:8000/api/v1/entry/"
@prefix dcterms: <> .
@prefix ldp: <> .
@prefix rdf: <> .
@prefix rdfs: <> .
@prefix sioc: <> .
@prefix xml: <> .
@prefix xsd: <> .

</api/v1/entry/#list> dcterms:hasPart </api/v1/entry/1/#post>,
</api/v1/entry/3/#post> .

Then, details of one particular post :

$ curl -L -H 'Accept: text/turtle' "http://localhost:8000/api/v1/entry/1"
@prefix dcterms: <> .
@prefix owl: <> .
@prefix rdf: <> .
@prefix rdfs: <> .
@prefix sioc: <> .
@prefix xml: <> .
@prefix xsd: <> .

</api/v1/entry/1/#post> a sioc:Post ;
dcterms:created "2011-05-21T22:46:38+00:00"^^xsd:dateTime ;
dcterms:title "Another Post" ;
sioc:content "MESSAGE: This will prbbly be my lst post. /MESSAGE" ;
sioc:has_creator </api/v1/user/1/> ;
owl:sameAs </posts/another-post#post> .

I hope this is usable, and welcome any feedback.

New paper “Authoritative linked data descriptions of debian source packages using ADMS.SW” accepted at OSS 2013

I’ll be presenting “Authoritative linked data descriptions of debian source packages using ADMS.SW” at OSS 2013.

Here’s the abstract :

The Debian Package Tracking System is a Web dashboard for Debian contributors and advanced users. This central tool publishes the status of subsequent releases of source packages in the Debian distribution.

It has been improved to generate RDF meta-data documenting the source packages, their releases and links to other packaging artifacts, using the ADMS.SW 1.0 model. This constitutes an authoritative source of machine-readable Debian “facts” and proposes a reference URI naming scheme for Linked Data resources about Debian packages.

This should enable the interlinking of these Debian package descriptions with other ADMS.SW or DOAP descriptions of FLOSS projects available on the Semantic Web also using Linked Data principles. This will be particularly interesting for traceability with upstream projects whose releases are packaged in Debian, derivative distributions reusing Debian source packages, or with other FLOSS distributions.

Update: If you are interested, a preprint is available here in HTML form. See also previous installments on ADMS.SW in this blog.

Update: The slides of the presentation I made at Isola are here.

The Debian Package Tracking System now publishes Turtle RDF meta-data

The Debian PTS now speaks the Turtle representation format for the export of RDF meta-data about Debian source packages.

Alongside HTML pages for humans, and the RDF/XML that had already been added to it this means that a new flavour of RDF is now available.

The Turtle format offers the benefits of both machine-readable meta-data, and a somehow human readable textual format too.

For instance, you may check the apache2 Turtle meta-data from the command-line with :
$ curl -L -s -H "Accept: text/turtle"

Here’s a link to a colorized HTML preview of

Under the hood, the XSLT stylesheets of the PTS have been reworked to produce the Turtle format by default, and later convert them to RDF/XML.

Every Debian source package then has a reference URI in the Linked Data word, in the form, that redirects, through proper content-negociation (the HTTP Accept header) to the HTML, RDF/XML or Turtle documents. For apache2, these are, resp. at, and

The meta-data uses the model of the ADMS.SW ontology (1.0), and the content has also been slightly updated to make it more conformant to the ADMS.SW specifications (checks done with the ADMS.SW validator).

Let’s hope this makes RDF more familiar to Debian folks, and allows more Linked Data interlinking with other resources about FLOSS packages.

Presented “Generating Linked Data descriptions of Debian packages in the Debian PTS” at the Paris Mini DebConf

I have made a presentation at the Paris MinDebconf 2012 about the work I’ve done to bring more semantic meta-data to the Debian PTS (see previous posts).

Here are my slides :

Also available here as PDF.

Debian Package Tracking System now produces RDF description of source packages

Here’s a second post on the subject of RDF descriptions for Debian source packages (see the previous post for some context).

From now on, the Debian Package Tracking System (PTS) will produce, alongside HTML pages meant for humans, RDF pages meant for Linked Data / Semantic Web aware applications.

Every Debian source package, which used to have an HTML page like now has a corresponding RDF/XML document available provided that the application/rdf+xml content-type is required (the HTTP client being redirected to the proper HTML or RDF document).
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