Imagine a public storage system that has a place online for structured data about everything that exists—or that could exist. This book introduces Fluidinfo, a system that enables you to store information about anything, real or imaginary, in any digital form. You’ll learn how to organize and search for data, and decide who can use, modify, and extend what you’ve contributed.
This guide demonstrates Fluidinfo’s potential to create social data, with facilities that encourage users and applications to share, remix, and reuse data in ways they may not have anticipated. You’ll learn how to use tools for reading and writing data, and how to use Fluidinfo in your own applications by working with its writable API and simple query language.
Read and write Fluidinfo data from web applications—and reuse and build upon each other’s data
Discover Fluidinfo’s permissions system for tags and namespaces
Learn how to use Fish, the command-line tool for interacting with Fluidinfo data
Delve into Fluidinfo’s RESTful API, and learn how to make HTTP requests
Chapter 1 What Is Fluidinfo?
The Openly Writable World
Signing Up for a Fluidinfo Account
Chapter 2 Fluidinfo from the Command Line
Getting Started with the Tags, Show, and Get Commands
Tagging and Untagging
Managing Tags and Namespaces
The Fluidinfo Permissions System
Extended Example: Working with Books in Fluidinfo
Chapter 3 Social Data
Twitter and Social Data
Blog Mining and Emerging Conventions
Chapter 4 Programming with Fluidinfo
Common Tasks Using fluidinfo.py
Chapter 5 Programming with FOM
Putting It All Together
An Example Application: The Social Bookreader
Chapter 7 Fluidinfo’s RESTful API
Making HTTP Requests to Fluidinfo
Chapter 8 Advanced Use of the Fluidinfo Shell
Permissions in Depth
Setting Individual Low-Level Permissions with perms -X
Generating Unix-style Long Listings with ls -l and ls -g
Chapter 9 Conventions for the About Tag
A Book Example
The Perfect About Tag
Normalization and Standardization
Specificity, Ambiguity, and Language
Tags for Indicating Related Objects (Linking)
Constructing About Tags for Common Objects
The Abouttag Command
Finding Fluidinfo Objects from Amazon Product Pages
Appendix Fluidinfo Query Language Reference
Tag Presence: The has Operator
Equality: The = Operator
Numeric Inequality Comparisons: <, <=, >=, >
Inexact Text Matching: The matches Operator
Combining Queries with and, or, except, and Brackets
Nicholas Radcliffe is a consultant specializing in predictive modeling and stochastic optimization. He is best known for developing forma analysis, a theory of representation for genetic algorithms, and uplift modeling, a novel statistical approach to predictive modeling as it applies in marketing optimization.
After gaining a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics at Edinburgh University,he joined the newly forming Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre in 1990, where he led a group that used high-performance computing to tackle business and commercial problems. In 1995, with three colleagues he founded Quadstone Limited, a VC-backed company that built the Decisionhouse suite of analytical and visual marketing tools for large-scale data analysis. He served as CTO of Quadstone until 2007, when he left to form Stochastic Solutions Limited, a consulting firm that also develops and markets the Artists suite of analytical software. Radcliffe also serves as a Visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh, attached to the Operational Research Group, and has published numerous scientific and technical papers as well as the bookSustainability: A Systems Approach, written with Anthony Clayton for WWF (the former World-Wide Fund for Nature).
Radcliffe's connection with Fluidinfo dates back to the late 1980's when he and Fluidinfo's founder, Terry Jones, both researched genetic algorithms, sharing a common interest in representation issues. Radcliffe has been a friend of and advisor to the Fluidinfo company since its inception. Radcliffe wrote the open-source Fluidinfo Shell (Fish) software for interfacing with Fluidinfo, writes a blog, About Tag, that discusses representation issues as they affect Fluidinfo, and maintains several web services for accessing Fluidinfo. He also writes a separate blog on analytical marketing, The Scientific Marketer.
The animal on the cover of Getting Started with Fluidinfo is a jellyfish-like animal of the genus Geryonia. It is the only species of its genus.
These creatures belong to the class Hydrozoa, a group of marine invertebrates noted for its strange and striking members. Though they appear to be a single animal (like true jellyfish), hydrozoans are actually colonies of intertwined specialized zooids. Some members of the order grow to enormous lengths (the giant siphonophore may be 40 to 50 meters long), others have severely venomous stings (such as the Portuguese man-of-war), and still others are able to produce light (which they use to attract their prey).
The cover image is from Cassell’s Natural History, Volume 5. The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont’s TheSansMonoCondensed.