Hi,

I have created an outline FOAF plugin and attached the patch to a JIRA issue FOR-1002 [1] . I would really appreciate if my mentor/co-mentor or any one of the Forrest developers could take a look at it and comment.

As the first step, I simply wrote an xsl to extract the plain XML data out of a FOAF document. The idea was to read through a *single* FOAF document and generate all the person details and index those in a single page. There's nothing fancy in this yet: in fact, I didn't consider much of the semantics of FOAF. Only used just the basic terms such as foaf:person, foaf:knows, etc.

For the next development step, I believe we could create multiple pages with multiple FOAF files which could be either related (with a foaf:knows relationship) or unrelated, and possibly enhance the number of transformations of the FOAF semantics in the xsl. Anyway, I would like to hear your comments on this and any other possible enhancements that we could do.


While developing this initial version of the plugin, I came across few forrest specific problems.I apologize if these have been answered before (I did go through much of Forrest's code, checked almost all of Forrest's documentation and the mail archives but was not able to find the answers.)
They are not major problems, however I would like to get them clarified:

For instance,

1. After seeding the plugin and after doing all the configurations as advised in [2], I did 'forrest run'... only to find that it failed because the plugin descriptor was not to be found.

So, as a workaround, I did the following:
  Copied a plugins.xml file to the foaf plugin dir (FORREST_HOME/whiteboard/plugins/o.a.f.p.i.foaf)
  Added a new plugin entry there for the FOAF plugin
  Added ' forrest.plugins.descriptors=file:///${project.home}/plugins.xml' in to the forrest.properties file.

After this, it did not complain about any missing plugin descriptors.
So, my question is, is this the expected way of letting the forrest build know about a new plugin (at least until the plugin is registered in the official plugin descriptor files)?


2. When I ran the 'ant test' target against the plugin, it failed saying that there are broken links in the site. I found the culprit to be a couple of @rdf:ID and  @rdf:resource elements I embedded in the xsl.

For example,  there's the following line in the foaf-to-document.xsl
<a href="{foaf:homepage/@rdf:resource}"><xsl:value-of select="foaf:homepage/@rdf:resource"/></a>

When Forrest renders this link it leads to a relative path like "http://localhost:8888/homepage_url_given_in_foaf:homepage/@rdf:resource".
How can we make it absolute, so that it will be linked to "homepage_url_given_in_foaf:homepage/@rdf:resource" and not the relative url as in above?


3.I was able to see the transformation I intended with the xsl at http://localhost:8888/personDetails.xml (in one of these forrest's internal doc forms I believe). However, when I point my browser to http://localhost:8888/personDetails.html, I could only see a blank page with the default forrest skin applied. The content was missing! Now, how is this page generated? Is the FORREST_HOME/main/webapp/sitemap.xmap responsible for generating this html page?
More importantly, what changes should I make to get those content from the transformed FOAF into that html?


4. This could be a very silly question, but thought I'd ask anyway... Would you advice against making changes to the plugin source within the build dir, once it is locally deployed in the FORREST_HOME/build/plugins? I ask because, I found it much more convenient to make changes from the build dir, rather than from FORREST_HOME/whiteboard/plugins/o.a.f.p.i.foaf, do 'ant local-deploy' and then do 'forrest run' after each and every change. :)


Also, I think I should mention that, although I looked in to the possibility of using dispatcher with this initial outline plugin, I am afraid I did not make much progress with that. Hopefully, in the coming weeks I would be able to understand how to use it. Until then I am going to experiment a bit and learn more. Any hints on how to get up to speed with dispatcher with this plugin will be appreciated!


[1] https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/FOR-1002
[2] http://forrest.apache.org/docs_0_90/howto/howto-buildPlugin.html


Thanks,
Oshani.