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[protege-discussion] Java Program

Taylor Cowan taylor_cowan at
Sat Sep 23 07:33:15 PDT 2006


This is a primary interest for me regarding Protege
(one of the best kept secrets IMO).

The standard Protege Java api is not very easy to use.
 You are dropped down to the LDC level of dealing with
slots, frames, etc.  My first attempt I used this api
and it worked out OK, but I had to write a lot of code
to get structured data out of the ontology.  It's
basically like working with a database of HashMaps.  

I recomend you abondon the Protege model and use the
OWL plugin...I really don't know why they keep the
standard Protege model around.  The advantage is that
you can autogenerate a user friendly Java api from the
OWL project, or even use external OWL friendly tools
to access your ontology (Jena).  Your code will be
more like 'getPerson("joe")', which would take many
lines using the standard Protege api. The only problem
with the OWL plugin is that the UI is needlessly
complex.  Although I'm familiar with editing
ontologies in standard Protege, when I moved to OWL I
was lost for days.  I wished Protege supported the
standard UI, with OWL in the background.

My only complaint with OWL is it's NIH syndrome (not
invented here).  You get RDF meta data, then OWL metat
data, then of course your own ontology meta data
fields.  Instead of everything having a "description"
I'd rather just add it actively to the ontology when
it was requied.

I'd be tempted to write a model binding tool for the
protege model, but it's already been done with
OWL...I'd really would like to see Protege solve is
personality disorder.

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