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TopicDB is a topic maps-based semantic graph library (using PostgreSQL for persistence)
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TopicDB by Brett Kromkamp

TopicDB is a topic map-based graph library (using PostgreSQL for persistence). Topic maps provide a way to describe complex relationships between abstract concepts and real-world (information) resources.

Topic maps with topics, associations and occurrences

Topic maps with topics, associations and occurrences

For a more in-depth introduction to topic maps, I recommend reading the excellent introductory article on topic maps over at MSDN: An Introduction to Topic Maps. With that being said, although TopicDB is inspired by the topic maps paradigm, it is not (and never will be) an implementation of the ISO/IEC 13250 Topic Maps data model standard.

TopicDB is intended to be used by other Python applications and does not provide its own user interface to the API. Contextualise, currently in active development, will provide a complete web-based user interface for TopicDB.

Why?

I build (story) worlds and knowledge management systems. TopicDB plays a crucial role in both those endeavours.

Feature Support

  • Pending

Installation

TopicDB officially supports Python 3.6–3.8. To install TopicDB, simply:

$ pip install topic-db

After having installed the TopicDB library itself, you would have to separately install and configure the database. Brief instructions on how to do so are provided, here: Setting up the TopicDB database. You need to ensure that the database username, password and database name match with the settings.ini file in the project's root folder.

Install the Development Version

If you have Git installed on your system, it is possible to install the development version of TopicDB.

Certain build prerequisites need to be met including the presence of a C compiler, the Python header files, the libpq header files and the pg_config program as outlined, here: Build prerequisites.

Before installing the development version, you may need to uninstall the standard version of TopicDB using pip:

$ pip uninstall topic-db

Then do:

$ git clone https://github.com/brettkromkamp/topic-db
$ cd topic-db
$ pip install -e .

The pip install -e . command allows you to follow the development branch as it changes by creating links in the right places and installing the command line scripts to the appropriate locations.

Then, if you want to update TopicDB at any time, in the same directory do:

$ git pull

After having installed TopicDB, you would have to separately install and configure the PostgreSQL database. Brief instructions on how to do so are provided, here: Setting up the TopicDB database. You need to ensure that the database username, password and database name match with the settings.ini file in the project's root folder.

Tutorial

To get a better understanding of how to use TopicDB, check out the tutorial, here: TopicDB Tutorial (work-in-progress).

Documentation

Documentation will be available soon.

How to Contribute

  1. Check for open issues or open a fresh issue to start a discussion around a feature idea or a bug.
  2. Fork the repository on GitHub to start making your changes to the master branch (or branch off of it).
  3. Write a test which shows that the bug was fixed or that the feature works as expected.
  4. Send a pull request and bug the maintainer until it gets merged and published. :) Make sure to add yourself to AUTHORS.
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