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

From: Matthias Samwald <samwald@gmx.at>
Date: Fri, 16 May 2008 17:44:17 +0200
Message-ID: <AC8FC75140A14F0F99DADDB8C263DE6C@tessellate>
To: "Michel_Dumontier" <Michel_Dumontier@carleton.ca>, <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>

> However, how _exactly_ can the process of "editing the complex, expressive 
> ontologies" be improved? Concrete suggestions welcome.

The process is not the problem. It would be a good start if the ontology 
editors would work as advertised, without introducing logical or syntactic 
errors into the ontologies during normal work procedure; and if they would 
adhere to the respective standards and not some specific interpretation 
thereof. I would estimate that 50% of the time editing the SenseLab 
ontologies was actually spent on fixing problems caused by Protege 3.x. 
Don't get me wrong, I like Protege, but it can have its downsides in certain 
scenarios. Swoop also caused me some troubles, and Protege 4 was/is still in 
Alpha version...

Cheers,
Matthias Samwald
Semantic Web Company, Austria // DERI Galway, Ireland
http://www.semantic-web.at/
http://www.deri.ie/


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michel_Dumontier" <Michel_Dumontier@carleton.ca>
To: <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
Sent: Friday, May 16, 2008 4:05 PM
Subject: RE: SenseLab note: should flaws in open source ontology editors be 
mentioned?



While Xiaoshu brings up an important point of constructive criticism,
it's not clear from the text that is being done. In the first case, bugs
happen, and these will get fixed, I don't think it's worth mentioning.
In the second, I think the topic is much more relevant. However, how
_exactly_ can the process of "editing the complex, expressive
ontologies" be improved? Concrete suggestions welcome.

-=Michel=-

-----Original Message-----
From: public-semweb-lifesci-request@w3.org
[mailto:public-semweb-lifesci-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Xiaoshu Wang
Sent: May 16, 2008 6:54 AM
To: Matthias Samwald
Cc: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org
Subject: Re: SenseLab note: should flaws in open source ontology editors
be mentioned?



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.

Xiaoshu
Received on Friday, 16 May 2008 15:45:12 UTC

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