P4 Release Announcement

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Protege 4.0 Release -- June 16, 2009

Protege 4.0 Screenshot

Protege 4.0 has been in development in parallel with the Protege 3.x series for approximately 3 years. Initial alpha versions were developed by the CO-ODE team and it is now under active development by CO-ODE, Stanford's Protege team, and several other developers.


Release Highlights

  • Protege-OWL editor built on top of the open source OWL API
  • Support for OWL 2
  • Direct, in-memory connection to Pellet and FaCT++ reasoners
  • Support for editing multiple ontologies
  • Creation, import, and export of user configurable tabs

... and much more! Please refer to our overview of the Protege 4.0 feature set.

Useful Links

What's next?

While Protege 4.0 was under development, the OWL 2 ontology language has been moving through the W3C recommendation process. This process is almost at an end and the specification is stabilizing so that this updated language can soon be used in earnest by the community.

We are excited to provide one of the first tools to support OWL 2. Our intent is to provide a well designed ontology editor as quickly as possible once the OWL 2 ontology language reaches recommendation.

In order to keep Protege 4.0 as stable as possible for users and contributors over the last year, a lot of work has been happening in the background on the OWL API to follow the specification as it changes over time. Some of the modifications to the language have inevitably been backwards incompatible - mostly vocabulary but also some structural changes. We have done our best to keep Protege 4.0 as isolated from these changes as possible and decided to release based on version 2 of the OWL API so that existing plug-ins, user interface, and ontologies are stable and compatible.

In May and June we branched Protege 4.0 and migrated to version 3 of the OWL API. After the Protege Conference, this branch will become the main development trunk where we plan to continue implementation of new features. There are still likely to be some shifts in the code over the next few months, but we would like developers to have a look and let us know how you think we are doing. In the meantime, all plug-ins from CO-ODE will be migrated to the updated platform and we will use this process to help write some migration guides for plug-in developers.

As a user, if you are desperate to take advantage of some of the late entry OWL 2 features that didn't make it into Protege 4.0, e.g., keys, (and you are good at backing up your work) there will be a 4.1 alpha release available for download shortly.

What are the major differences between Protege 3.4 and 4.0?

Protege 3.4 provides support for building frame-based ontologies and is also a robust platform for OWL 1.0 ontologies.

For more detailed recommendations about which version of Protege will best meets your needs, please refer to our side-by-side comparison.


If you would like to be more involved and help us with plug-ins, documentation, fielding questions on the mailing list, etc., please read our guide to contributing.

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