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[protege-owl] loading instance definitions in Manchester syntax

Timothy Redmond tredmond at
Thu Apr 15 10:15:50 PDT 2010

> First, thanks for the quick reply. I apologize for the imprecise 
> question. The users will be experienced software developers that will 
> create some simple individuals based on a published ontology 
> specification, so the simpler the better. The intent is to then to 
> send the resulting text to a restful service for inclusion into a rdf 
> store. My reading to date on loading is that the Manchester syntax is 
> not supported as a format that can be automatically  parse the and 
> insert the OWL individuals into a rdf store. I would like to conform 
> that this can NOT be done or how could this be achieved using either 
> the OWL or Protégé APIs.

There is no reason why the right combination of tools could work with 
the Manchester OWL syntax and a triple store.   To my knowledge the 
Manchester OWL api [1] is the best tool for working with the Manchester 
OWL syntax.  I am sure that this could be made to work with any triple 
store though depending on your architecture this may not be the simplest 

But we are getting into a tools discussion and your requirements are 
important.  It seems to me that these requirements should drive both the 
choice of tools and then the most natural data format.

Have you committed to a triple store on the server?  I think that there 
are may already be some restful services that operate at the RDF level.  
In fact I believe that Sesame has such a set of services.   Is there a 
particular reason why the Manchester OWL syntax came up as a useful 
approach?  Will you be saying complex things about OWL individuals (e.g. 
giving an individual a type which is a class expression like

    mypizza hasType hasTopping>= 5 Thing

?  More likely I would guess that your assertions would simply be 
property assertions like

    mypizza hasTopping myTopping.

Is the focus going to be RDF or OWL?   Is the information that you are 
sending over the wire going to get more complicated (and OWL oriented) 
as your project develops?  Will you be using some sort of OWL 
tool/reasoner to validate your input on the server?

I tend to favor the Manchester OWL api in my work but that is partly 
because much of my work is being done at the OWL level of abstraction.  
The manchester owl syntax will work well with the OWL api.  Though in my 
recent work on restful services I used OWL/XML with the OWL API.    If 
you are simply sending object and data property assertions and you have 
a triple store on the server then an RDF tool might be simpler.   If you 
use an RDF tool then it will probably play a role in what syntax you 
want to use to represent data (e.g. you might use rdf/xml syntax, turtle 
or n3).



> Thanx
> Derrick
> *From:* Timothy Redmond [via Protege Ontology Editor & Knowledge 
> Acquisition System] [mailto:[hidden email] 
> <>]
> *Sent:* Thursday, April 15, 2010 11:13 AM
> *To:* McCain, Derrick (N-General Dynamics)
> *Subject:* Re: loading instance definitions in Manchester syntax
> On 04/14/2010 07:28 AM, Derrick McCain wrote:
> > I am working with a group of uers that are not ontologists and do 
> not have
> > access to a a ont editor but need to provide some simple instance
> > information based on my ontology. I woud like for them to use the 
> Manchester
> > syntax because of it's simplicy, but I don't know if there is a 
> document
> > reader availible to parse and add the instances to my ontology using 
> the
> > OWL/JENA API. Is ther support in a API to load information into a 
> ontModel?
> >
> So I am not sure how the Manchester Syntax will help with providing
> instance information - I may need a simple example.  I am interpreting
> this as meaning that you are adding OWL individuals to an OWL ontology
> but this interpretation may be wrong.
> If you don't want them to have to worry about installing a ontology
> tool, then our best offering is probably Web Protege [1] which will
> allow users to edit an ontology with just a browser.  This tool will
> also be better at editing the definitions of individuals.  Unfortunately
> in Protege 4.1 we do not yet have an ideal tab for editing individual
> data but hopefully this will change soon.
> -Timothy
> [1]
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