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Re: Distributed ontology development

From: Mark Musen <musen@stanford.edu>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 04:15:37 -0700
Message-Id: <E2FFC534-F830-4FA9-95F1-719958C50771@Stanford.EDU>
Cc: William Bug <William.Bug@DrexelMed.edu>, Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>, Trish Whetzel <whetzel@pcbi.upenn.edu>, Alan Rector <rector@cs.man.ac.uk>, w3c semweb hcls <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
To: Phillip Lord <phillip.lord@newcastle.ac.uk>

Agreed.  Multi-user support is not the same as computer support for  
collaborative work.  Indeed, we are hoping that our upcoming grant  
will enable us to explore that space a bit as well.

Mark


On Jul 17, 2006, at 4:00 AM, Phillip Lord wrote:

>>>>>> "MM" == Mark Musen <musen@Stanford.EDU> writes:
>
>   MM> On Jul 10, 2006, at 11:40 PM, William Bug wrote:
>>> However, there doesn't appear to be a means within the OBO/NCBO
>>> community for doing this sort of distributed ontology design
>>> right now.  Two of the tools in wide spread use - Protégé and
>>> OBO-Edit are really not designed to support distributed and
>>> shared development
>
>   MM> I hate to sound like a salesperson, but Protégé in its
>   MM> multi-user mode (using the relational database backend) would
>   MM> seem to be just what you are looking for.  Protégé (both the
>   MM> frames and the OWL facility) allow distributed users to work
>   MM> simultaneously on an ontology stored on a remote server.  As the
>   MM> ontology is updated, all the Protégé clients refresh
>   MM> automatically to display the changes.
>
> Mark,
>
> If I may be so bold, this is not really distributed development, more
> collaborative development. It wouldn't help much if, for example, we
> wished to develop an ontology together as we'd never be at work at the
> same time (partly because of time zones, partly cause I'm a lazy sod).
>
> For distributed development, you want the ability to fork, merge,
> inform, as opposed to simultaneously.
>
> My own feeling about this (at least with respect to OWL) is what we
> really need is a) a human readable syntax b) language support for
> modularity (including privacy, visibility and so on) and c) standard
> best practices for using these two. Then we can stop worrying and just
> use the same tooling for ontology development as we do for software
> development. As far as I can see, the issues are all the same.
>
> Still, you are right, protege is probably the best option out there at
> the moment!
>
>
> Phil
>
>
Received on Monday, 17 July 2006 11:16:21 GMT

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