One central premise we're following is to release early, release often. Given this we're planning to release a very early draft of the ontology within the next week or two. We hope that releasing an early draft will drive feedback early on in the projects lifespan. The first releases will undoubtedly contain errors and glaring omissions, but it will also let people start to use the real meat of our project, the ontology itself. The first draft will only include two relationship types (is_a, part_of). As the project continues we'll consider and adopt others (has_part?), there is much talk of integrating spacial relationships (in_contact_with, adjacent_to), but these will have to be carefully reviewed.
To accommodate the editing, review, and tweaking of the ontology we're also starting to ramp up the patches to mx, the underlying editor that we're using to build the ontology. These changes are posted immediately to our SVN repository on Sourceforge (yes, we're considering a move to git). In the future, we plan to split the ontology code out of mx and turn it into a gem (plugin) that any Rails project can easily use.
Curation of the ontology is currently focused on updating all the present definitions to a genus-differentia style, and cross referencing terms to other ontologies. One stumbling point we're hitting is what to do with accented characters, since the OBO specs don't presently permit them.
Gradgrind the ontologist
9 months ago