After several weeks of concentrated editing the first "version" of the HAO is in the hands of the folks at the OBO Foundry, to be included as a candidate (
The HAO is indeed a candidate in many senses of the word, this first effort is largely to get the editing team comfortable with the steps it takes to release versions of the HAO, and the basic skeleton logic into the hands of those who can start to provide us feedback. That said, we feel pretty good about this initial effort, even though we have perhaps been gathering the low hanging fruit. We have a full fledged ontology output from a web-based application (albeit with a hack here or two), and around 90% of the terms contain definitions in human-written genus differentia formats. We've also generated HAO ids for over 1000 terms, which is an important first step towards allowing others to reference fixed points in the ontology in meaningful ways. Perhaps most importantly, we have a product that people can begin to provide critical feedback on, like "where's the nervous system" (our first comment from a non-project member, it's not in there...yet). We're depending on this feedback, both from experts on ontologies in the broader sense, and from morphologists with much more experience than us.
Along with work on the HAO itself has come some feature development for handling the ontology. We're using tags to comment and annotate the HAO. Tags in mx contain a keyword, and an optional pointer to a reference, and option comment or "value". To make tags more useful on a day to day basis we hacked up a tag browser (see above) which lets us quickly return sets and then navigate to the results.
We also generated a quick tree viewer to browse through the ontology. Watch for a public version of the viewer to appear on the glossary in the following months. The tree gives us context, allows us to quickly edit the definitions, and we can drag terms to add relationships.