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As a Protege developer, I have a unique ability to answer complex questions about large ontologies. All I have to do is to start Protege inside eclipse, open the ontology and set a breakpoint and I will have access to a full array of powerful Java tools for analyzing the ontology. These tools range from the full set of OWL api features, direct access to reasoners and the ability to make a complex script out of simple primitives. I have often thought that this power would be much more useful in the hands of the end user but it has been unclear how to get there. What is really needed is a very powerful scripting language.

The beanshell (a CO-ODE plugin developed at the University of Manchester) can fill some of these needs. The primary disadvantage of the bean shell is that it requires some experience with Java and knowledge of the OWL API. This will severely limit the audience but I thought it would still be useful to include some pages on how to use the beanshell. The beanshell also requires some understanding of the Protege API but to start with all that is really needed is to know one call:

      ontology = mngr.getActiveOntology();

Here the mgnr is the Protege Model Manager which keeps track of such things as which ontologies are displayed, how enties in the ontology should be display and the active OWL reasoner.

Some documentation for the beanshell can be found [1].

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