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[protege-discussion] WebProtege 0.5 alpha update (build 200)

Jennifer Vendetti vendetti at
Sat Aug 15 19:07:26 PDT 2009

There is a new build of WebProtege available for download from the 
Protege website:;O=D

Critical Changes (please read)
- Upgraded to GWT 1.7.

- We made some changes to the directory structure and Eclipse setup to 
conform to GWT 1.7. If you are installing WebProtege, please re-read the 
Administrator's Guide [1] for updated instructions. Developers should 
look at the Developer's Guide [2] - the setup for compiling and running 
WebProtege has been greatly simplified thanks to the Google Plugin for 

- WebProtege now runs in "local mode" by default. Local mode means that 
WebProtege will load ontologies from a standalone instance of Protege in 
your Servlet container. WebProtege can also be configured to run in 
"external server mode" by setting a property value in the file in the <your-servlet-container>/webprotege 
directory. External server mode means that WebProtege will load 
ontologies from a Protege server running outside of your Servlet 
container. The following additional configurations options can be set in

# Defaults to false; change to true to run WebProtege in external server 

# Use to specify an alternative location for the metaproject if running 
in local mode

# Hostname of the Protege server if WebProtege is running in external 
server mode; can also contain a port number

# Username that WebProtege uses to connect to the Protege server if 
running in external server mode

# Password that WebProtege uses to connect to the Protege server if 
running in external server mode

# Automatic save interval for ontologies if running in local mode (we 
recommend the database back-end instead of file mode)
Values of properties listed above should be changed to match your custom 
WebProtege installation.

- Project configurations are now saved in the 
<your-servlet-container>/webprotege/projectConfigurations folder. The 
XML configuration files contain user interface layout information (tabs 
to display, number of columns in a tab, portlets to display in a tab, 
portlet properties, etc.). The default configuration file is 
"configuration.xml". New configuration files are automatically generated 
if a user saves the layout for a particular project. Configurations are 
stored per user, per project.

- Users can now open multiple ontologies in WebProtege. Each ontology is 
displayed in a separate tab.

Other Changes
- Search is now implemented, including the ability to jump to the 
location in the class tree of a selected search result (this 
functionality is not yet available for the properties tree). The search 
text field is located in the top toolbar.

- Added more support for editing; users with write permission on a 
particular project are now able to:

a) Create and delete classes in the Classes tab
b) Create and delete properties in the Properties tab
c) Edit string property values in the Properties portlet
d) Edit the domain and range of properties in the Properties tab

- New portlet is available; the BioPortal Search portlet allows users to 
search for terms in the BioPortal repository [3] and import the terms as 
references in WebProtege ontologies.

- New portlet is available; the PropertyFieldPortlet allows form-based 
editing of property values. The portlet can be configured to use 
different widget types for different properties (analogous to slot 
widgets in Protege standalone). Available widgets for editing include: 
textfield, textarea, HTML pane, instance grid (similar to the 
InstanceTable in Protege standalone), external reference, multifield, 
combo-box; not working yet... :)  The layout of the form has to be done 
manually (for now) in the XML configuration file. An example is 
available in the "configuration_example_property_field_portlet.xml" 
included in the standard distribution.

- The Properties tab now shows different icons for the different 
property types.

- The Class Tree in the ClassTreePortlet can now be configured to only 
show a subtree in the ontology. The root class can be configured in the 
configuration XML file of the project, by setting the topClass portlet 
property to the full name of a class. Please see the example 
configuration file for exact syntax: 

- Web links are now opened in a new browser window.

- Better logging in the Servlet container and Protege server logs if 
something goes wrong.

- If running in external server mode, WebProtege will cleanly handle 
situations in which the Protege server becomes unavailable.

- RPC calls are now available for creating/deleting classes and setting 
property values.

- Support for multiple change events. Portlets can register listeners 
for class and property creation, deletion, and for property value changed.

A web-based version of the release notes is available on our wiki [4].

Best Regards,
The Protege Team


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