Thursday, December 02, 2004


In fact e-mentality is my spare time project since my college studies (late 90's). At the beginning there were just vague ideas. Since that time I met several people that have something similar on their mind, spent many nights writing informal analyses. Lately I determined that I finally know how e-mentality should look like :-) - how it fits SW and its ontologies, annotations, inference engines and agents...

Seriously I started development of e-mentality in 2002. Since that time I have created two prototypes and now I'm going to start implementation of the third one - codenames follow:

Cognition Organizer era started by months of analytical work. I suspected what I want to create, but didn't know how it should look like and how it can be implemented. I considered various languages and platforms. Finally I decided to create Java application based on Melnik's RDF API and Touchgraph library. The first prototype brough a convenient abstract model for cognition outlining.

After analytical review of CognOr, I changed my mind regarding to the most important technical topics mainly related to REST-wise resource design, metadata vs. data, RDF incorporation and outline rendering functionality (main UI level features). In fact, I created the second prototype almost from scratch. It was based on Jena and significatly improved Touchgraph library.

During the implementaion of MindRider I learnt that rendering of a general graph in Touchgraph manner can be cool, but it's confusing and in some cases even unusable (hugo models). I considered various approaches e.g. Grokker like or Personal Brain like, but finally I decided to use very simple and fixed form that would be very close to some textual representation (its design is still in progress). Also I changed my mind on architecture of the e-mentality - mainly regarding to location of the user data (cognition) - Google desktop release was the final impulsion.

Now I'm analysing Vodyanoi - the third e-mentality prototype. Apparently it will be realized as a server/thin client framework (ensuring that cognition will be accessible anywhere from any (even small) device and accessible using current web browsers - rendering of stored cognition in very simple and almost textual synoptic form; providing a customizable way allowing to acquire convenient representations of resources (cognition entities) via XHTML & CSS (& XSLT) combination. Resource type system and templates will make using it efficient; and the overall architecture will enable e-mentality riders to share their cognition bases in a collaborative environment.


Although I'am analysing Vodyanoi, I'am building MindRaider :-) In order to prepare Vodyanoi release I abused MindRider - it is now renamed to MindRaider. In fact Vodyanoi will be built on top of MindRaider kernel - MR as server providing REST style HTTP access to resources. Screenshots and kernel details are comming soon...



e-mentality aims to be outline editor that fits the environment of Semantic Web. In order to design e-mentality properly I'm looking for answers to the following questions:

  • Is there any 'real world' use case for Semantic Web? Which is it?

  • How fit REST and Semantic Web?

  • How to conveniently design abstractions used to outline human cognition?

  • How would be defined REST resource and API over such abstract model?

  • Is there any convenient/human friendly visualization of a general graph?

  • How to use RDF/RDFS/OWL properly? Which are non-use cases?

  • How to differ data and metadata?

  • How to name (URI) resources properly?

  • Location of the data aka is server/thin client the right way?

  • ... and many others

I will use this blog to describe e-mentality step by step - basic motivation, design + analytical decisions and particular feature realization. Also prototypes that were already implemented by me will be introduced.

There is a lot of work that must be done in order to make e-mentality what I want it would be, but looking forward to this challenge.


Sunday, November 28, 2004


For me, e-mentality project is kind of 'technology trainer'. I'm fascinated by REST, cognition visualization, outline editors, Semantic Web, Wiki, blog related protocols and many other emerging technologies.

I started to work on e-mentality since I missed an application allowing me to organize my data - mostly research and analytical documents - in a convenient way. In order to force myself to formulate thoughts and verify various ideas I decided to enter the blogosphere.