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[protege-discussion] Protege and Source Control

Bertram Stuart sjbertram at
Mon Nov 10 00:58:00 PST 2008

The problem with zipping them (or at least the problem we have with 
Subversion source control on Protege files) is that you'd still end up 
with files that you can't easily compare. Protege has no concept of 
ordering, and so can end up reorganising things at random. That means 
you may only have changed one character in a string value of a slot, but 
your diff with source control will show thousands of changes as 
everything gets moved around.

In terms of solutions, we've not really found one. All we do is put it 
in to source control as-is (because they're just text files and 
Subversion can handle text files) and lose the ability to diff the 
files. We've yet to check whether the experimental Protege XML files are 
more diff-able, although even if they're not then an XLST might be able 
to re-order without losing data.


Stuart Bertram

Jonathan Carter wrote:
> Hi Matt,
> Normally, when I used Protege with more than 1 user, I use the 
> client-server mode, which works well for multi-users and can track 
> changes etc. However, I appreciate that if you are working 
> collaboratively but offline, that this isn't going to work for you.
> One option to try would be to zip up the PINS, PONT and PPRJ files into 
> an archive that a version control tool could manage as some kind of 'blob'.
> However, what I've done in lieu of anything too technical is just 
> applying good practice with using the project - passing the 3 files 
> around and before releasing my work back to the group doing a 
> File->SaveAs and manually updating the version number - Protege 
> synchronises the 3 files from that perspective. So, I received 
> project_v1.0.pprj, work on it and save it back as project_v.1.1.pprj (or 
> something) before lodging it with the group. 
> Clearly, you need to organise a way of "checking out" the project for 
> editing, but in practice, for a small-ish group this is workable. For 
> larger groups, the multi-user Protege is really the best way forward.
> Hope this helps
> Jonathan
> __________________________________________
> Jonathan Carter - Head of Technical Architecture
> Enterprise Architecture Solutions Ltd
> __________________________________________
> Assess your EA maturity at:
> <>
> __________________________________________
> On 7 Nov 2008, at 17:06, Matt Spitz wrote:
>> I'm doing a group project using Protege, and as I've learned with all
>> group projects, the first step is source control.  Given that the
>> Protege files are all text-based, I held out a lot of hope for being
>> able to use version control.  Sadly, I was mistaken.
>> It'd be really neat if the Protege files were formatted in such a way
>> that source control software won't barf on them.  Does anyone have any
>> suggestions as to how to get around this and be able to use my
>> ontology files (pons, pins, pprj) in a source control setting?
>> Thank you very much!
>> -Matt Spitz
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