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Re: [sio-dev] Fwd: [ontolog-forum] Sharing and Integrating Ontologies

To: "[sio-dev] discussion" <sio-dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Cameron Ross <cross@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2010 13:15:30 -0400
Message-id: <i2kbc2b292f1004071015s1450142dq70f41c83b477b534@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 12:19 PM, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Cameron and Ali,

I agree with Ali's use cases, and I'd like to add a few more points.

CR> ... what is the need for an "online" repository.  Wouldn't a
 > system that allows for the sharing and collaborative development
 > of static ontology artifacts (e.g. files) suffice?  SourceForge
 > comes to mind.

The basic OOR, by itself, would be a static collection.  But the
SIO project is intended to provide a range of tools that go far
beyond what a static repository would provide.  

Does this suggest we manage the OOR artifacts as a   
So far, the
major tools are being developed by the COLORE project at Toronto
and the project at Bremen reported by John Bateman.  But many
of the tools that those projects use were built by combining
and integrating a variety of open-source software.

I suggest Eclipse as an example:

The original core of Eclipse was implemented by IBM as a suite
of Java-based software development tools.  
Actually, Eclipse was implemented by OTI in Ottawa which was 
subsequently purchased by IBM in the 90's ( if I recall corectly).  
OTI helped IBM with their VisualAge toolset.

But IBM discovered that
the required funding for continued development and support would
exceed their expected revenue.  So they decided to contribute the
software to open source *and* to collaborate with other vendors
in an open-source project.

I recall reading that this represented a $40M USD contribution
to the open source community!

See the following list of members (which includes nearly all the
major IT vendors except Microsoft):

Eclipse contains an amazing range of tools and resources.
Java is the language used to develop the Eclipse platform,
but it now supports all the major languages and paradigms
for software development.

I wouldn't expect the SIO project to compete with Eclipse,
but it might be used as a "plug-in" to Eclipse and/or other
development platforms.

I'm currently constructing an Ontology Development Environment
 (ODE) as a collection of Eclipse plug-ins (or more accurately, as a 
collection of OSGi bundles that may be deployed within the Eclipse
runtime).  The Eclipse tooling platform is just an awesome
example of great software engineering.

The Eclipse model is also a good one to emulate:  the core
is free and open source, and more open-source software is
being contributed on an ongoing basis.  But members and users
are encouraged to use Eclipse as a base for developing and
including products, services, and applications.

In the beginning, the Eclipse Foundation mandated that all of
its top-level board members have commercial products based
on the open source Eclipse core.  Not sure if this is still a
requirement, but it demonstrates the successful  marriage of 
commercial and open source interests.

In fact, Eclipse supports some commercial "application frameworks"
which "can be used as functional building blocks to accelerate the
software development process. Unlike developer tools, application
frameworks are deployed with the actual applications":

Eclipse runs on all major platforms, including Linux, UNIX, MAC,
and Windows, and it's available for free download on any of those
systems.  At VivoMind, we use it as a base for software development.

I've also used Eclipse as the foundation for 4 commercial tools of various
sorts.  There is a huge Eclipse ecosystem with all kinds of support
for building open source and  commercial tools.

We should design the SIO tools in such a way that they could be
used either standalone or as a plug-in to Eclipse or other
development platforms.

Couldn't agree more.


Kojeware Corporation

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