German web project seeks open-source experts

Theseus, the German government-funded programme to develop new semantic web technologies, will launch a competition in November to attract talented software programmers, particularly open-source developers.

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Theseus, the German government-funded programme to develop new semantic web technologies, will launch a competition in November to attract talented software programmers, particularly open-source developers.

"We want to attract bright minds to the project and let them work with the many other experts we have on board from the participating businesses, research institutes and universities," said Stefan Wess, managing director of Empolis, which is in charge of coordinating the Theseus project, at a conference in Cologne, Germany, on Friday.

Theseus Theseus is a research programme initiated by the German government to develop a new internet-based search engine infrastructure.

As part of the talent scouting effort, Theseus is particularly interested in attracting open-source programmers, according to Wess.

Theseus researchers plan to develop prototype semantic web technologies and test them in six application scenarios, including a knowledge database, called Alexandria, that supports users in publishing, processing or searching for content, he said.

Ordo is the name of an application to organise users' digital content automatically. Medico, headed by Siemens, is focused on semantic search technology for medical images, while Texo, another application scenario led by SAP, is focused on semantic tools that allow software components in all types of businesses to communicate with each other and thus allow for new services based on services-oriented architecture (SOA).

The first results of the Theseus research are expected in about 18 months, according to the project's spokesman Thomas Huber.

"The various Theseus research projects are all very complex and are expected to produce results at different times, but we do expect to see some results relatively early into the program," Huber said.

SAP, Siemens and nine research institutes from the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft are among the 30 members of the Theseus programme, which is scheduled to run for five years with a budget of €180m (£122.4m).

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