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RE: (SeWeb) KAON - KArlsruhe ONtology and Semantic Web Infrastructure

From: by way of <avron@aldo.com>
Date: Wed, 09 Oct 2002 14:05:37 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org

[released from www-rdf-interest spam filter -rrs]

Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 12:30:29 -0400 (EDT)
From: Avron Barr <avron@aldo.com>
In-reply-to: <BC630F6C39BFAB4CA1B35EFA0C7F217F178092@stan.fzi.de>
To: Alexander Maedche <Maedche@fzi.de>, "John F. Sowa" <sowa@bestweb.net>
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org, www-rdf-interest@w3.org, www-webont-wg@w3.org,
         seweb-list@cs.vu.nl, kaw@swi.psy.uva.nl

Re. ontology editors, from a commercial perspective

I think Alexander made two important points in his response to John Sowa
that are worth emphasizing:

1. That interoperability should be at the OWL language level.
The semantics of a statement should be clear, but the expression of a
concept should be as unconstrained as possible. (I understand that there is
some minor debate about the meaning of the word "clear.")
2. That there will likely be many ontology editors.
Naturally, most of us tend to be focused on one type of ontology work now -
building ontologies from scratch. Soon enough, many people with many
different jobs and different skill levels will be tasked with modifying,
testing, maintaining, comparing, merging, augmenting, updating, verifying,
and querying other people's ontologies (not to mention the programs and
agents that will be using these ontologies to make run-time decisions).
Different "editors" will evolve to support different people's jobs.


Avron Barr and Shirley Tessler, Principals
Aldo Ventures, Inc.
7370 Viewpoint Road, Aptos, CA  95003
831.662.2536  Fax: 831.662.2533
avron@aldo.com, tessler@aldo.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Alexander Maedche [mailto:Maedche@fzi.de]
Sent: Monday, October 07, 2002 11:16 PM
To: John F. Sowa
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org; www-rdf-interest@w3.org; www-webont-wg@w3.org;
seweb-list@cs.vu.nl; kaw@swi.psy.uva.nl
Subject: AW: (SeWeb) KAON - KArlsruhe ONtology and Semantic Web

Dear all,

actually we analyzed what can be reused from
existing open source software components like
         - XML Parsers
         - RDF Parsers
         - Relational Databases
         - Application Servers
         - Ontology Editors
         - Presentation Engines

We reused the most basic and stable
components like XML parsers (Xerces),
relational databases (Postgres),
application servers (JBoss) and
presentation engines (TomCat).

With respect to existing RDF parsers we were
confronted with serious performance problems.
Thus, we implemented a new one being compliant
to the W3C specification.

With respect to ontology editors we
were confronted with the problem that
each ontology modeling tool implements
its own "specific data model", typically
focusing on a specific representation
paradigm. Thus, this results in the fact
that it is impossible that one just
takes a specific tool and uses it as
a frontend for some specific backend
software. Thus, the only thing that works
is to provide import/export facilities.
In our case we provide an import tool for
Protege-based ontologies and RDFS ontologies
in general.

Personally I don't believe that in real life
there will be ONE ontology tool. Is there
one word processor, one HTML editor, one
UML editor? The biggest question however is
interoperability between these tools and that
is why the work of W3C and its working group
WebOnt is so important for the progress
of the Semantic Web.


-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: John F. Sowa [mailto:sowa@bestweb.net]
Gesendet: Dienstag, 8. Oktober 2002 00:09
An: Alexander Maedche
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org; www-rdf-interest@w3.org; www-webont-wg@w3.org;
seweb-list@cs.vu.nl; kaw@swi.psy.uva.nl
Betreff: Re: (SeWeb) KAON - KArlsruhe ONtology and Semantic Web

I looked at the KAON web site and some of the material there, and I am happy
that it is an open-source project based on Java. But I had a question about
why KAON is independent from other open-source, Java-based projects for
ontology editing and development.

I don't want to start an argument about why one system might be better or
worse than another, especially since I am not at the moment using any of
them.  But since I am working with ontologies, I would like to consider
using some such system and/or recommending it to my colleagues.  I would
like to know why there are so many systems available that are being
developed independently by different groups.

For example, the Protege project at Stanford is also an open-source
Java-based ontology editor and development platform:


I have also looked at that system, but I have not used it either. But it is
also available as an open-source project, and I have seen demos and examples
of other development platforms that are being developed on top of various
platforms, including Java.

Why are all these groups working on independent tools for ontology instead
of collaborating to build common tools that everyone could use?

John Sowa

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Received on Wednesday, 9 October 2002 14:06:29 UTC

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