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[protege-discussion] problems and thoughts on using PROMPT tab Compare mode

Jens Selbach Jens.Selbach at
Thu Mar 1 04:09:07 PST 2007

Hi Protege-friends,

still playing with prompt "Compare" some questions arise. For everyone
try I used newspaper example to show the problems I have.

Planned usage:
PROMPT tab would be a very important part on how I am planning to use
Protege for two main reasons:

Contol changes on ontology:
- Allow users to modify a working-copy of ontology
- Have a responsible change manager to view and accept/reject 
  user changes using PROMPT
- Changes should be accepted/rejected from working-copy to master.
- accepted changes should change master-ontology.
- rejected changes should change working-copy back to state of master.
  (if this is not possible, working-copy has to be replaced by master

Take schema modifications in production:
- Allow development changes to ontology, test and then deploy changes
(classes, slots,...) to production using PROMPT. Possible?

My Test-Setup
To not show problems from my other post 
I tried a simple exapmle with newspaper project:

- created two folders newspaper_work and newspaper_master with newspaper
demo project.
- opened and modified working-copy newspaper_work like users would do.
- added Reporter "PROMPT-Reporter"
- deleted Manager "Jane"
- modiefied Salesperson "Fred Schmidt" with new phone number and salary
- removed responsible_for relation from Editor "Chief Honcho" to "Ms
- added section relation "Automotive" to Editor "Mr. Science".

PROMPT Compare behaviour
Using this simple setup my task was to view differences users made and
apply these
changes to my master copy. Wasn't as simple as I thought it would be.

I needed some playing around with prompt, because the documentation was
not 100%
clear to me.

Changes are always saved to the first project opened, no modifications
are done to
the second ontology you compare with (opened by the File dialog "Chose
the version
to compare with the current project") btw. why only file dialog? 

1st Test - start with working-copy
This way my change manager is comparing working-copy to the save master.
Policy is "accept by default", because my change manager can only revert
changes to
state of master ontology by clicking on "reject". change manager might
forget to
reject unwanted changes.

After this, I need to copy working-copy to master (including all maybe
unwanted changes)

2nd Test - start with master-copy
Open master copy, because this is the one I want my change manager to
changes from working-copy to. This way the policy is "reject by
default", anything
change manager does not accept is rejected in master copy. (The way I
want it to be)

To use PROMPT like this is not supported by GUI. To accept a change from
the working-copy
(the one we compare to) we actually need to press the "reject" button
"Old Vaule" shows data from working-copy, "New Value" shows data from
master. Pressing
"reject" means to use "Old Value", in this case accepting the change
from working-copy.

It's a possible way, but the change manager's mind will get confused
after a while! 

PROMPT other issues
- can I only compare to file based projects?
- Table View shows more information than actuall differences between
both ontologies.
- Table View throws java.awt... exceptions when clicking on records.
  buttons are always disabled.
- Experience with compare of large ontologies? database backend based if
- In my 2nd test, I found that reject/accept on Instance "Fred Schmitt"
was only 
  effective on one of the change slots (only salary, not phone number) 

PROMPT compare would be a great feature and workaround for usage of
Protege in a 
multiuser environement and for taking development changes to a
production copy.

As described above, there are some limitations which prevent us from
this, unfortunately.

Is this plugin active under development/maintenance somewhere and are
any other users with similar requirements?


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