In preparation for the new 4.0 release of OpenCalais on March 15th, we have done some massive upgrades on the Drupal Calais modules. While many of these upgrades were under the hood, there are also some pretty great user accessible features to make you smile.
So what is the big deal about this new release and why a whole new version number (2.2 to 3.0)?
This time, I actually got time to open the hood and start a larger scale refactoring of how the data stored, queried and organized. This led to some pretty significant normalization of data that will allow the module to grow as the wealth of data returned by Calais grows as well. The main benefit is a good structure for supporting disambiguated data returned by Calais for Cities, States, Countries, Companies, and Products. While I am still not done with optimizations, my geeky side loves what has taken place here and how it sets up for future growth.
Ok, so for the other 99.999% of people that use this module, what does it mean?
Well the first BIG thing this means is that we now support the storage of the disambiguated URIs. This will lead your Drupal site into the Linked Data world, and big things for our clients and user of these modules. Be sure to come by my DrupalCon DC session to see the beginnings of what this can mean for you.
Secondly, the reshuffling of data into a more normalized state allowed us to very easily expose all Calais data to Views. This allows site owners to use this data in anyway they see fit, not just via the current Taxonomy integration.
More tight integration with the RDF Module also allows us to provide autodiscovery links to the Calais RDF data about your nodes to semantic agents/bots such as Semantic Radar, etc.
This represents a significant step forward for these modules on the Drupal platform and look forward to seeing how the community uses these tools. Give the Calais Collection modules a try, tell us what you think about them, and stop by our Drupalcon session, or the Calais Linked Data Lounge at Drupalcon to see them in action.