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Re: SenseLab note: should flaws in open source ontology editors be mentioned?

From: Xiaoshu Wang <wangxiao@musc.edu>
Date: Fri, 16 May 2008 11:53:38 +0100
Message-ID: <482D67B2.4070905@musc.edu>
To: Matthias Samwald <samwald@gmx.at>
CC: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org

Matthias Samwald wrote:
> One feedback I got for the SenseLab conversion note 
> (http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/hcls/notes/senselab/) was that it might be 
> inappropriate to mention that flaws in certain popular open source 
> ontology editors caused problems for our work. To portions of text in 
> question are:
I absolutely think it *is* appropriate to mention it.  People takes 
criticisms too personally, which is not good for the health of science. 
Truth should be gained through intelligent but authoritarian debate .  
> """
> We experienced the following problems while using RDF/OWL:
> The open-source ontology editors used for this project were relatively 
> unreliable. A lot of time was spent with steering around software bugs 
> that caused instability of the software and errors in the generated 
> RDF/OWL. Future versions of freely available editors or currently 
> available commercial ontology editors might be preferable. [...]
> """
> and
> """
> We experienced clear benefits from using Semantic Web technologies for 
> the integration of SenseLab data with other neuroscientific data in a 
> consistent, flexible and decentralised manner. The main obstacle in 
> our work was the lack of mature and scalable open source software for 
> editing the complex, expressive ontologies we were dealing with. Since 
> the quality of these tools is rapidly improving, this will cease to be 
> an issue in the near future.
> """
> In my opinion, the errors in one of the most popular OWL ontology 
> editors were problematic enough that they need to be mentioned -- I 
> guess most people working with non-trivial OWL ontologies know what I 
> mean. What do you think?
Do it.  I definitely think it should.  In fact, the more popular an 
ontology, the more stentorian the criticism should be because the 
potential damage a popular ontology can do is much more than a less 
popular one.  The problem is the critics but those who is being 
criticized.  They should take criticism as constructive advise to 
improve their work but as destructive sense to take them out of their job.

Received on Friday, 16 May 2008 10:54:23 UTC

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