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Re: Reflexivity and antisymmetry uses cases?

From: Holger Knublauch <holger@topquadrant.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2007 11:36:25 -0800
Message-ID: <45B51239.1090007@topquadrant.com>
To: public-owl-dev@w3.org

Alan Ruttenberg wrote:
> Hi Holger,
> I guess I will turn this around a bit. Why not consider the perceived 
> complexity of OWL as a user interface challenge. It seems to me that you 
> are making the assumption that a tool needs to expose the user to all 
> owl features on the same footing, and so extra features mean extra 
> complexity.
> But what if, instead, creative work on user interface helped manage the 
> complexity. I'll quickly brainstorm a few ideas to give you a flavor of 
> what I am thinking.
> - Define less complex, but useful, subsets at the tool level. These can 
> be designed completely for usability, rather than by some complexity 
> criterion. Present customized interfaces and documentation for these 
> subsets. For example, some people use OWL to build simple taxonomies. 
> Create a simple and visually pleasing interface for doing that and that 
> alone.
> - Think about how to create domain specific languages that are easier to 
> write, and translate into appropriate, but more complex to write, OWL.
> - Build up a case library of pattern and enable building definitions in 
> a more high level building-block manner. Compile such constructions to OWL.
> - Recognize repeated patterns of usage in a user's OWL file and make it 
> easy for a user to create variants of them.
> - Mine ontologies on the web for unique constructions. Contact the 
> authors to understand the constructions and then build user interfaces 
> tailored to explaining and reusing those constructions.
> - Investigate iconography/imagery use in the construction of relations. 
> Is there a way to convey the meaning of transitivity visually, rather 
> than by presenting the word "transitive". Could it be indicated by the 
> user gesturally?
> - Think about the user interfaces for the more specific domain oriented 
> programs you use. What ideas can be borrowed from word processors, 
> drawing programs e.g, visio, spreadsheets, project planning software, etc.
> - Review the recent release of the Fortress language out of Sun 
> Research. Are there ideas that could be adapted to enable alternate 
> styles of writing ontologies?

These are all valid and interesting points, but they are rather 
questions than answers.  All major ontology editing tools have plugin 
mechanisms that should make it easy for anyone in the community to 
contribute such features.  Only because forms are the default views this 
does not prevent others from implementing alternative views.  In my own 
experience, we have focused on forms because they are the easiest 
approach to present information in a uniform way.  Writing complex user 
interfaces with custom widgets for all types of content is very time 
consuming, and even more difficult to get this stable.  Projects with 
only two or three programmers will have trouble to solve all problems 
for everyone :)

Received on Monday, 22 January 2007 19:36:36 UTC

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