WWW Ontology Editor (Beta Release) -- Check it out!Adam Farquhar <Adam_Farquhar@HPP.Stanford.EDU>
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 1995 11:31:35 -0800 (PST)
From: Adam Farquhar <Adam_Farquhar@HPP.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: WWW Ontology Editor (Beta Release) -- Check it out!
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII
Network-based Ontology Editor
Beta Release 1/31/95
The Stanford University Knowledge Systems Laboratory is pleased to
announce the Beta release of our new Network-based Ontology Editor.
This notice describes the Ontology Editor, who might want to use it,
and how to access it.
For more information or suggestions, please contact:
Adam Farquhar <Adam_Farquhar@ksl.stanford.edu>
Please send bug reports by way of the bug report button, or failing
What is the Network-based Ontology Editor?
The Ontology Editor is a tool that supports distributed,
collaborative editing, browsing and creation of ontologies over the
World Wide Web (WWW).
The Ontology Editor is a rich editing and browsing environment with
many features such as extensive online help, definition finding,
name completion, undo/redo of changes, the ability to generate
hypertext or Ontolingua source versions of ontologies, translate an
ontology into various target representation languages, and many
more. User preferences allow you to customize the behavior of the
You use your WWW browser to interact with the Ontology Editor and
create, view, and edit ontologies. This is very different from the
standard use of your WWW client to view static hypertext documents
or even more sophisticated applications that query databases. You
are also able to work on your ontologies concurrently with your
colleagues around the world.
Who is the Ontology Editor for?
The Ontology Editor is for everyone who needs to specify knowledge
in a form that can be accessed and used by others; it is for any group
that might need to come to a consensus on the meanings of terms in
a common vocabulary.
We have tried to make the Ontology Editor intuitive and easy to use.
It is not just for lisp hackers!
What do I need to use the Ontology Editor?
All you need to use the Ontology Editor is an Internet connection
and a recent copy of a WWW browser such as NCSA Mosaic (version
2.5b2 or newer) or Netscape Communications Netscape Navigator (.93
or newer). You can use the Ontology Editor from any platform
supported by these browsers including PCs, Macs, and Unix.
We provide computational resources, as well as storage space
What is the URL for the Ontology Editor?
The Ontology Editor is available through the Stanford KSL Network
Services. The URL for the KSL Network Services is:
Is there documentation on the Ontology Editor?
Yes. The Ontology Editor has extensive on-line help and
documentation available as well as a "Guided Tour" that shows many
of the editor's features.
Is there a tutorial or Guided Tour for the Ontology Editor?
Yes. We highly recommend new users to read the guided tour, which
is available from the Ontology Editor welcome page as well as the
documentation button within the Ontology Editor.
How do I become I beta-tester for the Ontology Editor?
Simply register as a new user and use the Ontology Editor. There is
no delay between registering and being able to use the
Please send us your suggestions and bug reports so that we
can make our services as useful and usable as possible. We
recommend checking the list of known bugs before sending a report.
If you do not understand the Ontology Editor's behavior, please
check the help and documentation before sending in a report.
Are other network-services available from the KSL?
Yes. Several interactive and non-interactive network services are
available from the KSL. The list will be growing over the course of the
year, and will be available through the Network Services URL
Lisp programmers may be especially interested in the network-based
How can I find out more about work going on at the KSL?
There are descriptions of ongoing projects and on-line
demonstrations available over the web. Start at the URL:
What is the relation between the Ontology Editor and Ontolingua?
The Ontology Editor is a WWW user interface to the Ontolingua
system 5.0. The version of Ontolingua that is used by the Ontolingua
Editor contains a number of important extensions to support ontology
What is the representation language used by the Ontology Editor?
The Editor uses an object-oriented frame language built on top of a
full first order predicate logic (KIF).
Do I have to express everything formally in first order logic?
No. Most users will be able to express their ontologies in an
intuitive frame language. The full power of predicate logic is
available, however, when necessary.
Furthermore, it is possible to mix informal natural language
definitions with formal ones.
What is an ontology?
An ontology is an explicit specification of some topic. For our
purposes, it is a formal and declarative representation which
includes the vocabulary (or names) for referring to the terms in
that subject area and the logical statements that describe what the
terms are, how they are related to each other, and how they can or
cannot be related to each other. Ontologies therefore provide a
vocabulary for representing and communicating knowledge about some
topic and a set of relationships that hold among the terms in that
How do I start the Ontology Editor?
We have made every effort to provide on-line help along the way.
However, here are detailed instructions on how to start the Ontology
1. In your browser, enter the URL
2. Enter a User ID. If you already have an account, enter your
password and push "Log in". If you are a new user, push
"Register as a new user" (no password is necessary yet).
New users must provide information to open an account. You will
be asked to provide a password (different than the one you use at
home), your name, an email address and a personal URL (if
desired). Press "I accept these conditions...".
3. Open a session. You will be prompted for the expected duration
of your session and a description of what you are working on.
Press "Open session".
4. You now have access to the KSL network services. Select