Temporarily busy

Yes, my life being a student does have it’s rough edges from time to time.
After getting graded an 8 for our seminar-document (which is kind of depressing considering the good comments we received during the seminar, and the bulky document we’ve come up with. I know, quantity is not quality, but we’ve tried to be as complete as we could. I’ve got a slight suspicion we’ve been "undergraded" as we’ve not only doubted the course itself, we’ve also come up with a solution which doesn’t fit our professor’s views fully.
However, I’m not moaning over it as it would be childish to moan at an 8; but it would have been nice to get a higher grade in comparison to the other groups.)

Anyway, that was not why I’m about to post this: it’s because of my probable inactivity the next couple of days (weeks maybe?) as I’m currently very busy reading and studying for the upcoming exams. Yes, both of them.

Maybe I’ll post some stuff that’s catching my interest sooner or later, so far I’m not sure when that’ll be.
Thanks for reading this now. To shamelessly quote some Austrian guy:

I’ll be back!


Frantic times

When you’ve been to college (of any form: MBO, HBO, WO, other) you probably know the drill: several hours before the deadline some frantic work is done to get everything in order to meet the final deadline set by your teacher.
For us, this was just the case yesterday and today, however it wasn’t for the seminar. As our final meeting is on Thursday, the regular Monday-deadline is postponed to Wednesday (we figure), but we strive to deliver a finished document as early as Tuesday 23:59 PM. This way we are a day early, a day in which we can enjoy the sweetness of knowing this course is completed and all the hard work is done.

The final document is shaping up to be quite hefty, at this point we’ve already surpassed the 75-pages marker, and are steadily heading for the 100. I hope we’ll stay under the 100 pages, to at least give the impression we’ve been editing the document to fit under the 100.
Aesthetics put aside; the final document will be published here for you all to read.
Right now, I’m heading for my bed as tomorrow is (again) filled with college; yes the whole 4 hours of it!
I apologize for the large gap between this one and my previous post, I was not being helped by the outage of my internet-connection the past couple of days, I know I will be sending a complaint about it not being fixed within 24 hours.

Yet another meeting

Today, we had the second meeting this week, this time it was about the documents we handed in last Monday. Our professor handed us some pointers to create better documents, and these will most definitely be taken into account over the next few days.

I’m pretty tired right now so I’ll leave it at this, tomorrow there’s a great deal of work cut out for me, including work for the seminar. Bear with me here.

Daily report

Our final report is getting along nicely, and after persuading Microsoft Word to follow my intentions which has caused quite a bit of a headache at times, it also not only looks nice but has the right chapter-numbering.
I hope we will be releasing the report in a short while, for you all to read and gloat upon. It will contain the already published ‘papers’, and some more pieces we created during the process of getting to this point. Being subject to change at this point I will not be able to show you any preliminary results but I can tell that a lot of familiar things can and will be seen in the report.
We hope to get to the v1.0 on Sunday, although other work might postpone this by a day. Monday is our final deadline so it will be ready by then.

Tomorrow, or today for those who keep track of this post’s time, yet another meeting is planned, so I will be checking back in pretty soon.

Closing time

It’s just one of those times in your life as a student this week: the final week is neigh so the professors are or have been contemplating the final deliverables and our professor for the seminar is no exception to this rule.
In today’s session, which has been held plenary with all groups.
Yes, all three of them.

The deliverables have been announced, and actually span all work we’ve done so far plus a little bit more. We have to come up with a report concerning the following topics:

  • XML
  • XBRL
  • OWL & Ontologies
  • Transforming XBRL into a Ontology
  • The NTP architecture (optional)

With this document we will also have to bundle the ontology we’ve created, in our case we will possibly bundle the two ontologies we’ve created as we’ve based our transformation-paper almost entirely on the couple of ontologies instead of on just one.

Our professor likes to see, in contradiction to what he has told us before, an ontology in a hierarchical way instead of the linear fashion XBRL-taxonomies are created in. Luckily for us, we’ve been quite hard minded since the beginning of the seminar, so we’ve gone the opposite way from the start: our ontology is built in a completely hierarchical way so this requisite is no problem for us. Tomorrow we will focus on the creation of a paper for MC&I, the seminar will have to wait several days as it’s not thát much work anymore. Most of it is luckily done, so that’s quite a big burden gone for us.

To continue

Yesterday was our session with our professor, and although one of my teammembers had to be somewhere else, it turned out to be a pretty useful session after all.
To get back to my previous post: the professor was slightly disturbed by our questions, and I felt like we offended him as he asked us whether we questioned not only the method we were to have been using but also the seminar’s objective itself. Ofcourse we didn’t so we assured him we weren’t out to mock the seminar in any way, we just had doubts about the path to follow to come to the desired outcome, as neither the path nor the outcome was clear to us.

After handling the slightly awkward situation, we could start talking about the progress we made in enhancing our ontology and the rationale behind all of it. When we were busy explaining it to him, he comes up with some of the creative solutions another group had to a problem we also ran into, so this solution will be taken into account when constructing our next ontology which is quite similar to the one we already created yet far more difficult.
Last time we worked from a very simple ontology based on a very small part of a taxonomy and the accompanying instance-document.
This time we will be working with an official taxonomy, namely a business-report as specified by the NTP. The taxonomy is a balance-report which has to be submitted with a KvK.

This week we have quite a lot deliverables so we’ll be busy for quite a while I guess as we have to create yet another guide, this time a guide to the complete NTP-taxonomy which consists of an entire myriad of sub-taxonomies. I’ll post it when it’s done. Also, we will have to conjure up a new ontology as specified above, and documentation as to how we created the previous ontology specifying the how, when, why and what.
Next week, we will be discussing the final deliverables so it’s make or break time for the entire group. Wish us luck!

Questions posed

Tomorrow, the seminar-class has been canceled as our professor is attending a seminar of his own. It has been rescheduled to Thursday I’ll come back to that then.

While our professor is currently out of town, and even out of our country, we’ve stumbled upon several important questions regarding the transformation of XBRL into OWL, and thus ontologies.
Due to the fact an ontology is designed with several questions which cannot be answered easily in mind, and an XBRL-taxonomy is already set to answer some very specific questions (What was last year’s revenue? How much did we spend on housing? and so on), developing an ontology from that taxonomy is not of any use. When it is just to keep us busy, we can understand but while our professor isn’t able to explain to us what the added value of an ontology is during the group-sessions, we might as well ask him through an email.
And so it is. I’ve just sent an email to him posing several questions with the same subject: Why?

As we get to grips with our more existential questions, we also combined the already constructed ontologies and ‘instances’ to come to a better, more comprehensive and more elaborate version. We are very curious as to how our professor will grade our creation.
I’ll be posting updates soon!

It took a while…

But then it became clear to all of us: our professor is just trying to get our possible findings published!
(And he is right too! 😀 )

Anyway, today we had the group-session in which the semi-definitive object became clearer. As an assignment for again a group session next week we are to fiddle about with several programs and some XBRL taxonomy to create an ontology. The crux in this is that (of course) we jot our findings down and try to come up with a possibly automatable and hence ‘intelligent’ way of doing so.
As our subject we’ve chosen a taxonomy known to us under the title “DigiForce” which is a relatively simple XBRL-instance about a web shop accompanied by the relevant schema’s.

If we (or I) come up with something useful or otherwise postable I’ll let you know.

Group sessions are ahead

Tomorrow is a big day in the seminar: it’s the day the groups (3 in total) all have separate, semi-individual while in a group, sessions with our professor. Here, we have to lay out our strategy to tackle the problem posed in the first part of the class: How to translate an XBRL-document into an OWL-document.

We’ve been reading a lot, and our team-strategy is to individually read all available matter, come up with our own interpretation of it and combine our thoughts during a meeting scheduled tomorrow before our class. We’ve got about an hour to discuss the way we will tackle the problem, which might just be enough. Due to crammed schedules tomorrow it couldn’t be done any other way so it’ll be like this.

I’m pretty anxious to see how my teammates dealt with it, and I’m also curious about how the other groups plan to do the proposed conversion. We as a group have at least established quite a lot of knowledge about XBRL, OWL and so on which will probably and hopefully make us stand out in some way; that’s always a question whether it actually will. However, I’m feeling pretty confident about tomorrow, we’ll see.

For now, I’m logging off, I’ll put a post up here if anything comes up.