Using dbpedia to get languages influences

While browsing the Python’s wikipedia page, I found information about the languages influenced by python, and the languages that influenced python itself.

Well, that’s kind of interesting to know which languages influenced others, it could even be more interesting to have an overview of the connexion between them, keeping python as the main focus.

This information is available on the wikipedia page, but not in a really exploitable format. Hopefully, this information is provided into the information box present on the majority of wikipedia pages. And… guess what? there is project with the goal to scrap and index all this information in a more queriable way, using the semantic web technologies.

Well, you may have guessed it, the project in question in dbpedia, and exposes information in the form of RDF triples, which are way more easy to work with than simple HTML.

For instance, let’s take the page about python:

The interesting properties here are “Influenced” and “InfluencedBy”, which allows us to get a list of languages. Unfortunately, they are not really using all the power of the Semantic Web here, and the list is actually a string with coma separated values in it.

Anyway, we can use a simple rule: All wikipedia pages of programming languages are either named after the name of the language itself, or suffixed with “( programming language)”, which is the case for python.

So I’ve built a tiny script to extract the information from dbpedia and transform them into a shiny graph using graphviz.

After a nice:

$ python python dot | dot -Tpng > influences.png

The result is the following graph (see it directly here)

Graph des influances des langages les uns sur les

While reading this diagram, keep in mind that it is a) not listing all the languages and b) keeping a python perspective.

This means that you can trust the scheme by following the arrows from python to something and from something to python, it is not trying to get the matching between all the languages at the same time to keep stuff readable.

It would certainly be possible to have all the connections between all languages (and the resulting script would be easier) to do so, but the resulting graph would probably be way less readable.

You can find the script on my github account. Feel free to adapt it for whatever you want if you feel hackish.