RE: SSN-XG Meeting Minutes 15-July-2009

Hi Oscar,

On ontology versioning, I have not found yet a silver bullet. 
Has anyone tried OWLDiff ?

Also, the licensing issues may be more tricky than some of you may you think, especially if you "reuse"  some material from other parties. This is a topic where the learning curve is steep, so we better get started.  

I've put some information on this topic from the Linking Open Data community on the SSN-XG wiki, here: 
(the page is also accessible from the bottom of the main page)

Their discussion is primarily focused on Linking Open Data content (a.k.a A-Box ontologies or vocabularies with associated data). This corresponds to what we call "vocabularies" (e.g. the units vocabularies) which may come in complement of our ontology. 

In short, what they say is: 
- we need a new type of license and we're working on it: the Open Data Commons license or CC-0
(see and
- the law is different in the USA and in Europe (which has the "Sweat of the Brow" doctrine. )
- with the intended use of the ontology, even adding an "attribution" clause may create difficulties for people using it (especially if it is successful) 


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Oscar Corcho
Sent: Thursday, 16 July 2009 5:33 PM
To: 'Krzysztof Janowicz';
Cc: 'Raúl García Castro'
Subject: RE: SSN-XG Meeting Minutes 15-July-2009

Hi all,

Sorry to jump in in this conversation without having attended the last two conference calls, due to travelling. While I agree with all the statements about community based development with Sourceforge, I must say that this approach has been tried unsuccessfully in different sets of activities that I have been participating in the past. The main problem with this is the following: source versioning systems are focused on detecting changes/deltas in source code, but not in ontology code. When a person makes a change in an ontology with an ontology editor, the most important fact is that the serialization of the ontology may be **completely different** to the previous one, in terms of the ordering of the RDF triples that appear in the file, what makes tracking of changes almost impossible for humans.

I think that Raúl was commenting the possibility of using WebProtégé, which allows discussions over ontology terms, and probably we could go for a mixture of technologies/approaches: WebProtégé for the collaboration part on pure ontology development, and sourceforge for the bug tracking, the community involvement, and the releases of specific versions of the ontologies. 

What do you think?


-----Mensaje original-----
De: [] En nombre de Krzysztof Janowicz
Enviado el: jueves, 16 de julio de 2009 8:44
Asunto: Re: SSN-XG Meeting Minutes 15-July-2009


> Also, I like the idea presented in today's meeting regarding posting
> the ontology to a popular forum such as using an open
> license (e.g. Apache/BSD variant) once a suitable baseline is available.
Thanks, there are basically three reasons why I brought this up
yesterday. first, a platform such as sourceforge offers us a very useful
architecture. we can develop the sensor (and observation) ontology
together using SVN as versioning system and hence document our design
decisions (and that is what ontology is about). somebody like holger
could act as release manager and make official releases every x weeks.
on one side, this would give as some regular schedule (and pressure) to
make our recent changes coherent. on the other side, interested people
can always browse the SVN at sourceforge directly to see what is
happening right now. moreover, sourceforge offers a forum, a bug
tracker, and especially also a feature request form. we can use these
features to coordinate our work on the ontology but also to get feedback
from others. second, if we host the ontology (no matter in which stage)
at sourceforge people will start to use it and give us feedback. this is
also about transparency - having the ontology only on our wiki makes it
difficult for others to find out who is responsible for which parts, who
should be contacted, and so on. third, IMO the licensing issue is an
important decision. everybody should be free to use the ontology and to
modify (fork) it if necessary (especially because our work is also based
on other ontologies). finally, having it at a platform like sourceforge
makes sure that work on the ontology can also continue (and be supported
by others) after the incubator group ran out.

Best regards,

Kelsey, William D schrieb:
> Hi All,
> I'm new to the group (today was my second meeting).  I would be
> interested to learn if anyone has draft use cases that are driving the
> Sensor/Observation ontology/ontologies.  If so, can they be shared?
> Also, I like the idea presented in today's meeting regarding posting
> the ontology to a popular forum such as using an open
> license (e.g. Apache/BSD variant) once a suitable baseline is
> available.  Hopefully this approach would promote increased exposure
> for both adoption and refinement.
> Best Regards,
> W. David Kelsey
> Boeing Research & Technology 
> Information Management & Transformation 
> (206)662-3963
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* []
> *Sent:* Wednesday, July 15, 2009 2:05 PM
> *To:*
> *Subject:* SSN-XG Meeting Minutes 15-July-2009
> Hi all,
> Thank you all for a really productive meeting.
> The draft minutes are available at: 
> Please let me invite you to continue the discussion on the mailing list.
>     *Summary of Action Items*
> **[NEW]** **ACTION:** all discuss the versioning etc. of the ontology
> [recorded in]
> **[NEW]** **ACTION:** Cory to put up logistics page for f2f [recorded
> in]
> **[NEW]** **ACTION:** Krzysztof to organise O&M ontology meeting
> [recorded in] 
> The XG's Wiki page is accessible at:
> Please let me invite you to use this forum for discussions on the
> development of the Semantic Markup and the Ontology*//*
> Cheers,
> Holger
> *Dr. Holger Neuhaus*
> Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
> Tasmanian ICT Centre
> Phone: +61 3 6232 5547* | *Fax: +61 3 6232 5000
> <> *|*
> <> *|*
> <>
> Address: GPO Box 1538, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia
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Krzysztof Janowicz
Institut für Geoinformatik
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Weseler Straße 253
D-48151 Münster
fon: 0049 - 251 - 83 39764
fax: 0049 - 251 - 83 39763 

'Die Wahrheit ist das Kind der Zeit, nicht der Autorität' 
(Bertolt Brecht)

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Received on Thursday, 16 July 2009 08:41:51 UTC