Migrating Protege to a Modern Web Stack
Mark Musen (Stanford University)
To construct a solid foundation for the next generation of Protege using a modern web stack that will make Protege easier to maintain, extend, and — crucially — make it easier for third parties to contribute to the code base.
Protege is the de facto standard toolset that scientists in biomedical informatics, and in many other disciplines, use to create ontologies. The system has evolved radically over the last two decades, and it is currently available in two implementations: (1) Desktop Protege, a full-fledged OWL ontology editor, implemented as a Java Swing application, and (2) WebProtege, a collaborative ontology editor for the Web. Both platforms support the latest version of the Web Ontology Language (OWL 2), which is a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommendation and the latest standard in ontology languages. WebProtege comes with a simplified user interface specifically targeted to biomedical ontologies. This interface was designed using an innovative approach based on empirical evidence of commonly used constructs. It also offers various collaboration features, including discussion threads and watches, supports change tracking for keeping abreast of multi-user edits, and offers visualization for ontology comprehension.