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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Most Awesome Family Trip


“On a trip, a good company can compensate for the bad location”
I have been to numerous family trips with my parents and relatives (esp. mausi) and all of them have been gratifying. But my last family trip was exceptional. It was much more gratifying and pleasurable to the point of Euphoria than the earlier ones.
Reason: This time, the family trip included the family of one of my very close friends, Federer. His family included his parents and his sister, Jyoti apart from him. And what a company to hang out with, I must say! Together, our laughter must have produced/burnt so much of energy in 4 days which would be enough to light a bulb for 2 months! It had moments of satisfaction, pleasure, pain, adventure, fun, and  Bollywood.
This blog is a dedication to the trip by capturing all those moments in the form of writing in chronological order:
a)      On Aug-10: Parents arrived at station..we had lassi there.. we came home took rest and went to FC road to have chocolate toast. After that we celebrated papa’s b’day over ICC roof top..Here, while we were in lift, Jyoti was hiding cake and papa thought that she was imitating him.. :P.. We also celebrated Uncle-aunty’s marriage anniversary on the same cake..;-)
Then we came back home & had that special ice-cream and played guitar, tabla and flute, sang some songs (including Kumar Vishwas’s shayari), with aunty dancing a little bit and uncle dedicating a song to her!!
Mera apna tajurba hai, tumhe batla raha hun main....koi lab chhu gaya tha tab, ke ab tak ga raha hun main..
Bichhudkar tumse ab kaise jiya jaaye bina tapde….jo main khud hi nahi samjha, wohi samha raha hun main..
Federer and I also dedicated the song ‘phoolon ka taaron ka’ to our respective sisters!!
We clicked few pics with Jyoti’s camera HTC One S and I found that the camera of that phone was simply superb! Ek yeh din tha, ek aaj ka din hai..meri ab bhi is phone pe nazar hai.. :P

b)      On Aug-11: Federer’s parents learnt new terminologies which I founded during school days: CL and BL. CL means Chhota Laahur(No.1) and BL means Bada Laahur (No.2). Ek who din tha..aur ek aaj ka din hai… They are using these words even more than I do! :P.
One thing I noted in the morning was that uncle was the first one to get ready and fully dressed like Amitabh Bachchan in Baghban.. J
Firstly, we went to Infosys Darshan, to Phase-2 where papa, Neha, Jyoti and uncle had the time of their lives by driving bicycles! Jyoti had to wear Aunty’s chunni to cover her hands as roaming in sleeveless tops is in banned in Infy campus!!
After that, we went to phase-1. There, Jyoti almost left uncle on road as she started driving the car even before uncle was able to sit in the back seat!!..I died laughing after seeing uncle’s reaction. We went to Guest house then and had beautiful pics there of the swimming pool and tennis court..After having Thali in canteen, we left for home and then to Sinhgad fort.
While in cab, I was shaking hand out of the car window. Aunty asked me to keep my hands inside. I said, "Very nice...nice idea".. :)

c)   Sinhagad fort was an amazing place..Went to Wind point, then saw many water-kunds in which virtual Rani(s) used to take bath (:P)..We dedicated each Kund to a different class of Rani depending on the area and beauty of the Kund.:P.. then we saw Green Chutney (Algae, :P) and Mittal’s BL point (& mittal too!! :P)..We also had Pithli Bhakri and corns there amidst extremely heavy rain..then we went back to parking and had Kaanda bhaaji and tea.
I said to papa and uncle, ”Lijiye kapoor sahib..sweets lijiye bhai..gupta jee…lijiye” :P
Imagine how would you feel having Pyaz ke pakore and ginger tea in a wet weather on hill.. Amazing experience.. :-) Suddenly, Neha asked me, ‘bhaiya CL jana hai..’ I replied, ‘meri kya dukaan hai CL ki..’ :P :P

d)    Everyone was very happy with the choice of place.. so I told them a story.. A story, which I have never ever dared to tell any one.. Normally what happens is since a child is born and till the age of 27, he must have spoken almost 1 million lines.. listened to almost 1 million lines.. must have seen almost thousands of places.. must have heard lakhs of songs..etc.. But out of all those, 80% of them would have been on negative side.. means he must have spoken only 0.2 million lines truthfully, listened to almost 0.2 million truthful lines.. must have seen only 0.2X1000 GOOD places.. must have heard 0.2 X 1lakh GOOD songs..etc..BUT in my case.. “maine toh jee aap yeh samajh lo ki na hi galat kaam kiya hai, na hi dekha hai, na hi suna hai, na hi galat gaane sune hain..kyun…because meri adaat hi nahi hai”.. :P :P :P x 1000...

e)    On the way and while coming back, I told them about NjoyTV and it’s policies.. :P :P and we had several tests to find whether to recruit Jyoti into NjoyTV or not.. whether she had acumen to identify the movie names of “dialogues” or not.. She answered almost 50% of the questions that day.. so recruitment process continued till next day. ;-). Neha and federer were keen to expel me out of the company whenever I was not able to tell a movie name..so, I made the dialogue, “Meri umar mein ek jhatke mein pata chal jaat hai ki ladke-ladki ke beech kya chal raha hai..”.

f)    On each day, a little discussion took place on the marriage too. Esp. Federer’s marriage and my marriage. I told them about an incident [censored to maintain privacy]..And they said in Punjabi, ‘Arey yeh toh rola pai gaya..’ :P.. Meanwhile Neha tried to crack a PJ.. No one laughed and I said, ‘Ispar main kal subah 11.10am pe hasunga..’ :P..Neha ka chehra dekhne layak tha ;-) ..Then she asked me about the latest affair and federer said, ‘Iske jawaabon ka sawaal do..’ :P
Jyoti’s camera was awesome today also..my eyes stocked on it! :P In fact, I had started calling it “my mobile”.. :P

g)     Next day, on Aug-12, we went to Mahabaleshwar, the summer capital of Bombay during British Raj. The cab was congested at the back so we folded chairs and sat on the cab-floor (we=me, federer, jyoti, neha). We started playing cards to pass the time. I asked Federer to show us the magic of finding 4 ‘selected’ cards out of 52. And believe me, it was fun to watch him present. Though I caught the trick in his first attempt but same was not the case with the girls!! 
    
    ‘Ho sakta hai ki main sheher waalon ki tarah smart nahi hun..but aankhein hain meri..dekh sakta hun’..

And later when they came to know the trick, their reaction was as if they were short of “common sense” that how could they not get it.. We made them fool by telling them that the contour of each of the 52 cards is different..and Neha even believed that shit.. J
It was such a fun I tell you... Then these girls presented the same trick to the 2 moms sitting in middle row in the car and finally they ended up saying, “Galti ho gayi maa, maaf karooo” after bearing the over-detective nature of our moms in card games!! :P
The road to Mahabaleshwar was awesome. Aunty said, ‘it resembles silky hair’ and I started touching my Hair trying to find out how would a road feel like a Hair.. :P :P..Suddenly Neha said, ‘try karna chahiyein.. what do u say’.. :P.. Federer replied, ‘U need a psychiatrist’.. J

Then we laughed at above 50%.. J Aunty said, “ek kaam karo, tum chaaro ki ek saath shaadi karwa dete hain.. fir ikkaththe rehna.. at least haste toh rahoge”.

We first stopped at Panchgani..clicked the most beautiful snaps of the trip..We continued further..bought some rain-suits from a place just before Mapro.. We halted at Mapro few Kms before Mahabaleshwar. We had the best Sandwich of our lives there with some coffee and soup!! We also had some freely available mocktails, shakes and candies.
After doing CL, we moved on and reached Mahabaleshwar.. Uncle asked me, ‘Hey Rahul, you were to laugh at 11.10 today.. what happened’..I told him “Signal Problem”.. :P

Mahabaleshwar – I don’t know what was the name of the spot we covered first becoz of extremely heavy rainfall and fog with 2 mtr visiblity..but one incident worth noting there was that my mom kept on laughing laughing and laughing as if she had smelled laughing gas. Reason for laughter: Aunty made one dialogue..she said, “Jab tak yeh log ghoom kar aate hain, itne hum log chalo CL karte hain”.. :P J :P :P
After having Corns there, we went to the old temple Panchganga in which water from 5 different rivers meet:  Koyna, Krishna, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri.. Awesome temple where you get little taste of 5000 year-old civilization!

On way back, the cab driver stopped the car at petrol pump where we had Prasad of a new shop opening function. After that we went to the Balaji Temple at Naraynpur. Extremely beautiful from inside.. Amazing carvings, beautifully painted walls and breath-taking views of the architecture..
Meanwhile, Jyoti’s recruitment to NjoyTV still continued throughout the day..However, it kept getting worse and worse with each new movie dialogue! Finally she herself started saying, ‘mere se mat poochhna’ :P Also, she was little surprised by the company policy of taking salary from its employees.. :P i.e. the more you work, the more you pay to the company.. :P ;)

We came back to Pune and had dinner at Hotel GreenPark on Baner Road. Here, Aunty paid Rs 100/- to a pandit to know when will Federer get married.. :P :P.. He told, ‘This guy has lot of potential but it’s not coming out of him.."Yeh tanaav mein rehta hai thoda.." he needs to wear some stone..worth only Rs 5000/-‘ :P..  I said to Federer, "Agar tanaav mein rehne ke baad itna haste hain toh bina tanaav ke kya hoga.. :P"
Finally, We also clicked a mittal’s pic there in which he looks like his original super-natural yet horrible avatar!
Mahabaleshwar was not as good as per our expectations but because of the company we had, it looked like an awesome place to visit!
h)    Next morning, on Aug-13, when I was filling rent receipt, Jyoti came to our room (our=federer and me) and asked something related to trip. Me and Federer, as usual, made a movie dialogue out of it and started doing our work..:P :P
Jyoti’s reaction was, “Excuse me..helloooooo…mere ques. ka jawaab toh do..” :P

Then we were on our way to Shirdi.. While in the cab, aunty told us about the incident when Federer slept in BL.. :P :P ..yes u read it correctly..He slept in the BL that too Indian..:P In return, my mom also told them that I used to keep my “new” footwear on the bed..then I said, ‘Main har nayi cheez ko bed pe hi rakhta hun..’ :P :P
Then I made the dialogue, “Yeh jo time hai na yaar, yeh jo hum kaat rahe hain..yeh bahut achchha time hai..tum dekhna, aage jaakar hum isse yaad karenge aur bahut hasenge”.. J

We stopped to have breakfast on a restaurant where a bus containing almost 50 villagers also halted. Aunty asked me about a village girl, “Rahul, kaisi lag rahi hai yeh..features achchhe hai na?” I told her the funda of rating girls:
·         Excellent – very beautiful
·         Good - average
·         Bad – below average
Then aunty discovered a 4th category: Very Excellent!! : P :P Ek who din tha, ek aaj ka din hai.. Aunty is the only one on this Earth who uses this word ‘Very excellent’ to show her taste for anything which is good!

Before continuing the journey, I went to BL after picking up the tissue paper from the table and saying, “Yeh le jaata hun main bas..” imitating SRK of ‘beer in London’ scene from DDLJ.. Federer said, ‘Chai peekar BL aagayi..that means it was BL-able Tea’ :P :P

i)     We continued our journey further towards Shirdi. During the journey, whenever Federer said the word “peechhe”.. I always started looking at my back.. :P This made the other 3 NjoyTV workers laugh like hell!! :D
At the same time, Jyoti, who was not even confirmed as a NjoyTV employee, resigned from the company sighting reasons that she doesn’t want to work in such an ‘unfriendly’ company. Federer said, ‘when people start criticizing you that means you are progressing. She must be jealous of NjoyTV..that’s why she resigned..’.. Neha said, ‘Milte hain Market mein’.. :P :P.
It was as if the whole Bollywood was residing in that cab only.. :)

Meanwhile, Jyoti wanted to buy something from the market but Neha opposed her saying, ’kya fayda, aunty toh khareedne nahi dengi’.. then Aunty made the best dialogue of the trip: “Munni badnaam hui”..:P I laughed at 75% on it.

j)     Shirdi was nice but we had to remain in queue for a long time (arnd 3 hrs)! Aunty asked Jyoti to restrict her shopping. Jyoti said “aap itni tokaa-taaki mat kiya karoo”. Neha told me about this. I went to aunty after few minutes and said politely, “Aunty, waise toh sab badhiya hai but mujhe pata chala hai ki aap kaafi tokaa-taaki kar rahi ho bachiyon ke saath” :P Aunty laughed like anything saying, ‘fir se munni badnam ho gayi’..:P
The line kept on moving slowly, “Badhte rahiye bhaiya, hum log new Bombay se aaye hain.. “ and we completed darshan by 3pm. After that Lunch, little shopping and ice-cream and all the way to Shani-Shingnapur.
This place is awesome. You have to be here to practically experience the aura of this place. Here, everybody speaks truth.. no-body ditches anybody at least in matters involving money. Here, everybody gives importance to the work and not the money involved in it. Both me and Federer felt that it was a dangerous place for Mittal.. :P
We had coconut water there first of all to satiate our thirst. Then darshan and Aarty.
Federer said that this kind of mandir should be there in each city so that there would be more places without corruption! I said:
“Oo jee, hum kaun hote hain mandir banana waale… hum toh bas eet paththar lagate hain and jahan ishwar ki kripa hoti hai mandir bann jata hai..”
Note: In shanishingnapur, CL was charged only for ladies. For gents, it was free.

On way back to Pune, the driver stopped the car for mending the tyre-puncture. While he was doing so, we had so much fun.. I can’t tell you..We played with truck tyre, clicked funny pics on it.. me and federer went over the roof of the car and clicked pics.. then Neha and Jyoti clicked few pics..most funny was in which Jyoti was tightening the brain-screw of Neha.. :P
All these pics were taken from Jyoti’s camera..my eyes were still on it.. :P
As we were quite a bit late in reaching Pune so we went to the roof-top restaurant, “Sky Garage”. Parents were quite surprised by the “young” girls were coming to the restaurant at 1.00 am in hot pants.. It was funny to see their reaction.. ;-)

k)     Next day, Aug-14, we left for Mumbai (though a bit late becoz of Cab mismanagement issues). Jyoti and Neha were quite excited with the idea of seeing Salman Khan and Katrina on the sets of Jhalak Dikhlaja at 6.00pm in the evening. We left at 1.30pm.
There was a little debate b/w Jyoti and Federer on the lyrics of certain songs like, ‘Agar tum mil jao, zamana chod denge hum’. Jyoti said, ‘Agar zamana chhod diya toh milkar kya karega’.. Federer said, ‘This is an exaggeration of expression of love and nothing else’..and so on…

I will skip the journey part. Only one thing was that we were not able to reach Filmistan on time and we missed Jhalak Dikhalaja and hence the lone chance of seeing sallu and kattie. So, we directly went to Goregaon (after taking keys from Chat) to stay at Thakur’s rented flat.

l)      Mobile incident: The cab driver dropped us outside the society and left. We counted the number of bags and started moving inside the society thinking where would we go next.. Suddenly a voice pierced through my ears: ‘I can’t find my mobile’. Jyoti was not able to find her Rs 33k mobile phone in her pocket. She said, “it’s probably left in the cab. Plz call him asap before he even identifies that there’s mobile in his cab”. I felt the pain of losing her mobile on her face (After all, it had virtually became my mobile too.. :P). Meanwhile, federer tried to call cab driver but all in vain as he didn’t pick up. Jyoti said, “haan ab kyun phone uthaega woh”. :-(
My heart pounded heavily after listening to this as she had lost all hopes and this incident had the potential to spoil the whole trip. Also, in India there is a concept of “nazar”. Everybody would have said that “Rahul ki nazar lag gayi phone ko, isiliye we lost it”. I tried to remain calm, went outside and started searching for the mobile. The issue was multiplied by low light and presence of wet mud on the road periphery. Wet mud is dark in color and hence it is even more difficult to spot black colored mobile phone in it. Not for me, Luckily though! I spotted something “mobile-like” black colored device half submerged in mud just 10 metres ahead of the society gate. And Voila!! IT WAS THE MOBILE we were searching for. Oh my god…I jumped with joy, “mil gaya..mil gaya”.. :D :D.. Obviously, Jyoti’s happiness had no bounds! And everybody was again as happy as nothing had happened. But I was happy as if I had found a gold mine!! :D
Though I am still trying to find out why did she give its credit to my mom and not to me.. :P

We had dinner at pratap-da-dhaba that night.

After coming back home, Neha went to BL. She said, “BL ekdum bakwaas experience tha because sprinkler mein se keede nikal rahe the”. Federer and I smiled at each other. Later federer told me that he was smiling because he now knew that why is Thakur’s ***** had keeda..:P.. I laughed at 61%.

j) Next day, Aug-15 was not a day to be remembered except for 3 things:
1 - We roamed here and there and wasted lot of time just to meet few people who were like us few years ago but are now big stars! ;)
2 - We visited Sea-Link, Sidhdhivinayak Temple.
3 - Neha making a senti dialogue to federer, “I am more imp. Or Beach?”.. :P :P. This was because Neha was super-hungry and didn’t want to roam on beach while federer wanted to cover beach first and eat later. After this dialogue I said to federer, ‘I hate girls’.. :P
When we were having lunch then suddenly we started talking on Jyoti’s mobile incident and she again thanked my mom. I said, ‘I hate girls…but not all of them’ (after seeing a beautifully dressed girl besides our table)..:P

Surprisingly, Jyoti made one out-of-the-box movie dialogue here. I said, “hum apne har ex-employee ko achchhe se training dete hain..” :P :P

We left for Station and gave them a see-off…

***
So, this was it. An awesomely wonderful trip came to an end. I realized, the best part of the trip was compatibility between 2 families and extremely good humour of the members! That is why, even when we had few hiccups in the original plan, the overall mood was still in "Euphoria". :)


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Chalte Chalte


Today is my last day at IIT Kharagpur. How fast these 2 years have passed, I can’t even imagine! It seems just yesterday when I was waiting for entrance exam results. I had already converted IMT Gzb and was waitlisted in IIM Indore when I saw my name in the 3rd list of VGSoM on one fine night in June 2010. The thought of being an IITian had always sparked a rush of adrenaline in my body. I was pretty sure to join VGSoM when I saw dim chances of Indore convert and I surely rated an IIT over a private institute.

However, my only concern was the place. Kharagpur in West BENGAL. All those nightmare memories of Cognizant Kolkata used to flash through my mind whenever I used to think about my to-be-stay in Kharagpur. Still the prospect of being an IITian was too attractive to be left because of these “petty” things. And even if it would be painful 2 years, would not matter, at least I will be taking something from there in terms of knowledge, experience and friends. Today, after having spent 2 years, I can say I do not regret my decision.

So what are the things I am gonna miss:
  1. Friends – It is my group – Mittal, Konishko, Manoj, Gaurav, Pallav, Utsav, Nitin, Mahajan, lately Guys. Thankfully Mittal is with me in Pune and Pallav, Utsav and Mahajan in Mumbai. I still remember Nitin’s dialogue in one of Statistic’s abstruse classes: “Bhai, aeroplane udd chukka hai aur hum log airport pe hi reh gaye hain”. We fell from chair laughing like anything in the middle of class. Similar dialogues while playing ‘Raja Mantri Chor Sipahi’ and ‘Bollywood’ with Konishko!
  2. DC++ - I can’t even imagine how these years would have passed without DC++. It’s probably the biggest advantage of being here. You name it and it’s there.
  3. 29 – We started playing this in 4th semester but gradually became so addicted to it that we played it in mid-sems and end-sems too! I will be missing Gaurav and his dialogue, “Saale tu trump khulwata hi kyun hai?” because he has been my 29-partner since we started playing.
  4. HTDS Plays – I was lucky to be there in the times of Biswapati Sarkar and Deepak who are the two precious resources in Dramatics Society. They together brought the level of HTDS to a professional level. The plays I enjoyed were: Bitches, Shalu Ka Kamra, SHE & Dil ki Dukaan.
  5. Numerous parties at Mittal’s room and the last one at Guy’s room when we were high and liquid over Tata Sport complex.. Awesome time!! :D
  6. Bicycle – I have no clue when will I be riding bicycle next time in life.
  7. RP Sir’s examples of hindi movies and cricket while teaching ABCDEF....XYZ.
  8. Physical Infrastructure and non-polluted environment.
  9. Rainy Weather – Whenever it rains in Kgp, it’s an awesome sight to watch. And how can I forget rain dance with Mittal and Gaurav... Amazing day!
  10. Tikka’s tea & poori sabji, Tech Market’s jalebi, Flavor’s Chinese Bhel and Hookah are also few things that will be remembered forever.


Finally I am gonna miss this student life which will never come again. No responsibilities, no tensions, not even studies (:P), no burdens...Just enjoyment and leisure.

Things I may want to forget:
  1. AM and SkD’s torturous sessions – Though they became “comedy” sessions with each passing class! M3D’s sessions were not torturous but they were too abstruse for me to make a sense out of them in first few sessions.
  2. Mess Food – Horrible to say the least except on few days. But as they say that people passing out from here will never have any problems from what their respective wives will cook, lets c!
  3. Sinus - Was it because of weather change or because of frequent in-out of airconditioning, the problem of sinus cropped up somewhere in 3rd semester. My nose would block whenever I would lie down on bed. Spent many nights in disturbance. Tried allopathic medicine but only to get temporary relief. In the meanwhile, thanks to my childhood friend who became an ayurvedic doctor. She gave me a medicine in September that worked magically fast and my sinus went away like a thought in December 2011.
  4. Non-rainy hot weather – The heat here sucks the liquid out of you here. And imagine going to OBC classes in this scorching heat. Surely horrible days.


Special moments:
  1. Power to Empower win – When we participated in this competition we didn’t know that the winners will get Rs 2 Lakhs. Our only motivation was we have to participate because this is what we think is lacking in India and is unmet need of the people. We even thought that even if they are not providing any winning amount, we will ask for their incubation support in terms of knowledge and research. We cleared 1st round and then 2nd round and were called in Delhi for final rounds. And baaaaang on... Did we win..oomph?? To be chosen as top business plan of the country in front of the esteemed judges was not even in our wildest of dreams! The feeling was special. I could still hear claps when I was typing this blog.
  2. Thanks to the knowledge we gained at VGSoM that helped us write a business plan and it’s financial forecast.
  3. Aerospace department, IIT Kharagpur showed Moon’s surface with their telescope in late 2010. I saw Moon’s crater on one of its poles. It was amazing.
  4. IIM Lucknow’s Manfest event – This was the first time I gave presentation in front of a CEO of a company (L&T Investment division) along with Pallav and Rastogi. Nice experience and good learning.
  5. Playing Diwali with Dish Seema School Children 


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Simile Exhibit @ VGSoM

Introduction

Simile stands for "Semantic Interoperability of Metadata and Information in un-Like Environments". It was a joint research project run by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries and CSAIL (MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The project ran from 2003 to August 2008. It focused on developing tools to increase the interoperability of disparate digital collections; much of SIMILE's technical focus is oriented towards Semantic Web technology and standards such as Resource Description Framework (RDF).
The Semantic Web is a collaborative movement led by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that promotes common formats for data on the World Wide Web. By encouraging the inclusion of semantic content in web pages, the Semantic Web aims at converting the current web of unstructured documents into a "web of data". It builds on the W3C's Resource Description Framework (RDF). The RDF is a family of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specifications. It has come to be used as a general method for conceptual description or modeling of information that is implemented in web resources, using a variety of syntax formats.
SIMILE was focused on developing robust, open source tools that empower users to access, manage, visualize and reuse digital assets. SIMILE seeks to enhance inter-operability among digital assets, schemata/vocabularies/ontologies, metadata, and services. 
SIMILE leverages and extends DSpace, enhancing its support for arbitrary schemata and metadata, primarily though the application of RDF and semantic web techniques mentioned above. The project also aims to implement a digital asset dissemination architecture based upon web standards. The dissemination architecture will provide a mechanism to add useful "views" to a particular digital artifact (i.e. asset, schema, or metadata instance), and bind those views to consuming services.
The SIMILE Project and its members are fully committed to the open source principles of software distribution and open development and for this reason, it releases the created intellectual property (both software and reports) under a BSD-style license.

The various tools published under SIMILE Project are as follows:
1.      Zotz
Zotz is a Firefox add-on giving you the ability to publish citations from your Zotero* to an Exhibit (via Citeline) in one step.
* Zotero is powerful research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyze sources (citations, full texts, web pages, images, and other objects), and lets you share the results of your research in a variety of ways.

2.      Longwell
A web-based highly-configurable faceted browser for RDF datasets. Longwell mixes the flexibility of the RDF data model with the effectiveness of the faceted browsing UI paradigm and enables you to visualize and browse any arbitrarily complex RDF dataset, allowing you to build a user-friendly web site out of your data within minutes and without requiring any code at all.

3.      Piggy Bank
An extension to the Firefox Web browser that turns it into a Semantic Web browser letting you make use of existing information on the Web in more useful and flexible ways not offered by the original Web sites. Piggy Bank is a Firefox extension that turns your browser into a mashup platform, by allowing you to extract data from different web sites and mix them together.

4.      Solvent
A Firefox extension that helps you write Javascript screen scrapers for Piggy Bank.

5.      Semantic Bank
The server companion of Piggy Bank that lets you persist, share and publish data collected by individuals, groups or communities.

6.      Welkin
A graphical graph visualizer powered by RDF data and capable of displaying graphs with a real-time interactive visualization.

7.      Timeline
A DHTML AJAX timeline widget for visualizing temporal information. With this widget, you can make beautiful interactive timelines.


8.      Gadget
An inspector for large quantities of XML data and it's useful for useful in situations like exploration, migration, cleanup, evaluation schema emergence.
This is normally useful in situations like:
·         data understanding and exploration
·         data migration/transformation
·         data cleanup
·         data complexity evaluation
·         schema adherence understanding
·         schema emergence

9.      Referee
Referee reads your web server logs, crawls your referrers (the links that point to your pages) and extract metadata from those pages and text around the links that pointed to your pages. The website says: “Ever wondered who links to your pages and what they say about them? Ever thought that trackback might be missing something? Ever subscribed an ego feed and hated the fact that the same stuff keeps coming up over and over like it was new? Ever hated those referrer spammers that pollute your autotrackback scripts? If so, Refree is for you”.

10.  Babel
Babel lets you convert between various data formats. In particular, it lets you convert data into the Exhibit JSON format and preview the data right inside Exhibit.

11.  Exhibit
Exhibit lets you create web pages with support for sorting, filtering, and rich visualizations by writing only HTML and optionally some CSS and Javascript code. There is no database and no web application technologies involved.

12.  Appalachian
Appalachian is a Firefox add-on that adds the ability to manage and use several OpenIDs to ease the login parts of your browsing experience.

13.  Timeplot
Timeplot is a cross-browser DHTML (canvas-based) time series plotting widget.

14.  Seek
Seek adds faceted browsing features to Mozilla Thunderbird and lets you search through your email more effectively.

15.  Potluck
Potluck is a research prototype for a user interface to mix and align structured data coming from different exhibits.

16.  jsTeX
jsTeX is a javascript library that is capable of interpreting some (basic) TeX encodings and transform them into HTML definitions right directly on a web page.

17.  Citeline
A web application to facilitate the web publishing of bibliographies and citation collections as interactive exhibits and facilitate the sharing of this type of data.

SIMILE EXHIBIT


It provides a Publishing Framework for Data-Rich Interactive Web Pages.
Exhibit lets you easily create web pages with advanced text search and filtering functionalities, with interactive maps, timelines, and other visualizations like the following examples:
Example-1: CSAIL Principal Investigators grouped by positions and their office


Example-2: Billionaires in history – Where they are from?


Example-3: US Cities by Population - Using Exhibit, this map can be made with just the two simple files.


Example-4: CIA World Factbook – People. It shows birth-rate Vs death-rate statistics. As the user has clicked “Chinese” under language group, it has shown statistics for 9 countries speaking Chinese language:


Example-5: Exhibit Timeline - 63 MIT-related Nobel Prize Winners being shown on a timeline according to the year in which they won Nobel Prize:


EXHIBIT 3.0


Exhibit 3.0 is the latest version of SIMILE EXHIBIT which lets you publish data-rich web pages without complicated programming. It can be used in two forms:

a)      Exhibit 3.0 Scripted (rc1): With Exhibit 3.0 Scripted mode, you can visualize data in a Web browser with a simple HTML-based configuration. No programming or server-side set up required. Exhibit 3.0 Scripted is designed for smaller data sets – for publishing rich interactive exhibits, with thousands of items, right in your Web browser.

b)      Exhibit 3.0 Staged (beta2): Staged mode requires the use of server software to publish bigger data sets. Exhibit 3.0 Staged mode extends the capacity of Exhibit by combining the in-browser software with greater capacity of a server-based component. The server stores and indexes data, and handles browser queries.

How to choose between Scripted and Staged Exhibit?


Smaller data sets numbering a few dozen, a few hundred, or up to a thousand items can run in the browser using the Scripted mode of Exhibit. There is no set item limit for Scripted mode. If your data set has smaller items with few properties and short values, you may find Scripted mode handles a few thousand smaller items. No programming is required beyond the basic HTML you use to author an Exhibit page.
Larger data sets – up to hundreds of thousands of items – are better suited to Staged mode. Running Staged mode requires that you host the server software yourself or locate a provider who can host it for you.

Installing and Setting up Exhibit 3.0:

Scripted
Simply include the scripts hosted at simile-widgets.org in your page: 

From within the repository, the code that needs to be served can be found at scripted/src/. Making the entire scripted/src/ directory available from your HTTP server is sufficient. Access your deployed Exhibit in your pages by using:

Staged
Exhibit 3.0 Staged runs on the Backstage server. Working with Backstage is not as simple as working with Exhibit Scripted. In addition to HTML and publishing Web pages, Backstage is Java software that acts as a server. 

·         Get the source:

Creation of webpage using Exhibit

This section will describe the step by step procedure of creating a webpage with the help of SIMILE Exhibit. 
This widget from the SIMILE project helps in building semantic web-pages without the need of advanced 
programming. The following shows the steps followed:

Step 1: Gathering the tools

Before embarking on the journey of preparing a webpage using Exhibit, one must gather couple of tools. 
These include the following:

1) Text Editor
The first thing required is an editor where one can write the HTML codes. Although it can be done with the 
help of common editors such as Notepad, Wordpad etc. it is better to go for Notepad++ (Windows user) / 
Text Wrangler (MAC users). For the purpose of this tutorial we will be using Notepad++. MAC users can 
download Text Wrangler here: Text Wrangler



Notepad++ has many features which are useful for coding purpose. Visit http://notepad-plus.en.softonic.com/ 
to download the software.




Once download is finished, the installer can be double clicked to start the installation. Proceed with your 
choice of installation language and installation directory. Complete the installation. Move on to the next step.

2). Web Browser
One needs to have a browser in order to run the webpage. Any of the following browsers will work: Mozilla 
Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer. For this tutorial Mozilla Firefox will utilized. Visit 
http://www.getfirefox.net/ and download the latest version of the browser.


3.) Microsoft Excel/Spreadsheet
You also must have an application capable of creating spreadsheet. Spreadsheets act as an input to the 
Exhibit which results in creation of the WebPages. One can use Microsoft Excel, Google Spreadsheets or any 
other software. Google spreadsheets are available free of cost. One needs to follow the steps:

Step 2: Collect Data & Build Spreadsheet

For the purpose of this tutorial we have decided to build a webpage consisting of movies released in a given 
month in various industries. The data has been collected from various Wikipedia pages related to Bollywood 
movies. The data was then compiled to form a spreadsheet.

As you can see, the first row consists of the headers. It gives the field names of the various columns. Each 
row starting from the second represents a record. It consists of the movie name, the industry it has been 
released, date of release etc. The following things must be considered while constructing the spreadsheet:
a) Name one column “Label”. This column must contain unique data. The label will help in identifying each 
record. 
Label
YEAR
    GENRE
CAST
2007
Drama
Shreyas Talpade


b) To store multiple data in a single cell, enter each data separated by a semi-colon. For example suppose a 
movie can be listed under two Genres – Romance & Comedy. To record the genres under the Genre header 
enter Comedy; Romance.
TITLE
YEAR
GENRE
GENRE
Fool n Final
2007
Action
Comedy; Romance


c) Store dates in ISO 8601 format. It is important to make the date field compatible with Exhibit.
d) Do not use quotes, exclamation marks, commas etc while name a field
e) Be consistent in entering the data. Suppose you enter the Genre Comedy for one movie and comedy for 
another the movies will be considered to be from separate Genres.
One can also use Multiple Spreadsheets to create the input data for Exhibit. In case multiple 
spreadsheets are used, the tables must be differentiated on the basis of “type” – a separate column 
added in order to give an idea about the type of data the spreadsheet consists of. 

These two spreadsheets can then be combined while converting them to Exhibit usable format (JSON). The conversion process is explained in the next stage.

Step 3: Converting to Exhibit usable format

To use the spreadsheet in building of the webpage, it must be first converted into a JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) file. It is a lightweight data-interchange format which is easy for human users to read and write and also easier on the part of a machine to parse and understand. Exhibit requires that the data fed into it is in JSON format. The spreadsheet created can be converted to JSON format using Babel. Visit http://service.simile-widgets.org/babel/ to use the application.
It provides the option of converting various types of files to JSON format in addition to other output formats. The following table lists the various input and output options provided by babel.
Input Types
Output Types
Bibtex
Exhibit JSON
Excel
Exhibit JSONP
Exhibit JSON
N3
Exhibit embedding Web Page
RDF/XML
JPEG
RSS 1.0
KML
Text
N3

RDF/XML

Tab-Separated Values





A snippet of the JSON file created:


As can be seen, each column item has been defined for the item labeled “Hari Puttar: A comedy of Terrors”. The contents of each column item such as cast, director etc have been shown in the JSON file. The webpage while loading uses the styling techniques defined in the HTML file and the contents of this page. 

Step 4: Creation of the webpage

This stage involves the creation of the HTML page that will define the contents and formatting of the webpage.  We will provide with the ready to use code that you can directly copy and use. Make the changes as required by the type of data your spreadsheet consists of and you are ready to go. Follow the steps mentioned:
A) Preparing the basic structure
  • Open your notepad++. Then go to    File├áNew
  • Copy the following into the file and save it as movies.html (remember saving as type HTML)

The above figure shows the webpage created with the help of the codes just written.
Before moving on, some important points regarding Exhibit:
  • and acts as templates for data display
  • An is added to div or span in order to inform the Exhibit to handle it specially
  • Views: Are used to define how a collection of data will be displayed onscreen
  • Lenses: Lenses are used to define the formatting and styling of individual items
  • Facets: These are used to include filtering features in the webpage 

B). Adding Filtering features 

Suppose you want to give options to the user of filtering the movies shown on the page based on Genre/Date of Release/Cast etc. As anyone with previous attempts on doing so will tell you, going by conventional way is very complex and requires programming skills. Exhibit really makes the whole task just a few clicks away (or rather a few Cltr+C & Cltr+V). To add the filtering feature one has to use the facet feature. This can be done by including the following codes in “Codes Area” of movies.html.
Just copy and paste it above the other facets code just added. This search button can be used to search for any text on the webpage.

C) Adding lenses:  To define how each individual item should look on the webpage lenses can be defined. They consist of the specific formatting for each of the element shown on the webpage. 
Also add the following code inside the 

Final Webpage:

D) Adding timeline

Another feature presented by SIMILE is timeline. It creates a pictorial showing various events categorized by the time of their occurrence. This can be included in the webpage with the following code:




Prepared by:- 
Kanishka Chakraborty
Rahul Aggarwal
2010-2012, VGSoM
IIT Kharagpur