PrF UG forms understanding forms

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Understanding Forms

Protege-Frames User's Guide
Understanding Forms
Forms Tab
Form Browser
Form Buttons
Form Editor
Display Slot Menu
Selected Widget Type Menu
Widget Configuration Dialog
Form Configuration Dialog Box
Default Widget Types
Additional String Widgets
Instance Row and Table Widgets
Contains Widget
Direct Instances Widget
Global Characteristics
Moving or Resizing a Widget
Widget Configuration Properties
Selecting a Widget Display
Hiding a Widget
Customizing a Row or Table Widget
Customizing a Contains Widget
Using a Resource List Widget
Additional Widget Types
Glossary, Editing Help

Once you have built the classes and slots of your ontology, you will want to begin to create instances. This is done by filling out forms. The Forms tab allows you to customize the user interface that will be used for entering instances. In Protege-Frames, the expectation is that ontology creation and instance entry could be done by different groups of people:

  • The Classes and Slots tabs are used by domain experts and knowledge engineers to create ontologies - that is, to design a set of classes that describe the domain. For example, a team of medical specialists could design an ontology dealing with blood diseases.

  • The Instances tab is used to acquire instances. It is typically used by people who are neither domain experts nor knowledge engineers. For example, nurses at a hospital could use the ontology above to enter instances to describe each patient.

The Forms tab generates the basic user interface for instance entry:

  • A class has template slots, each of which has a value type.

  • The form for a class is composed of widgets, each one of which corresponds to a template slot. The appearance of the widget is based on the slot value type.

  • When a user enters an instance, each widget becomes an entry field in the Instance Editor.

Every class, concrete or abstract, has an associated form. For a concrete class, a user defines an instance of the class by filling out the class's form. For an abstract class, the form is used to define layout information which can then be inherited by other classes.

Using the Forms tab, you can customize the appearance of forms. Protege-Frames generates a default form for every class you create, based on the slots that are attached to the class and their slot value types. On the default form, there is a widget for every slot that is attached to the class.

The default form is intended as an initial, useful set of forms; however, these default interfaces are not always user-friendly. For example, if a class has a slot such as name or title, you might want the form to display this field first. The default form probably will not do this for you.

Different slot value types use different widgets: for example, a string slot uses a text entry bar widget, while a Boolean slot uses a checkbox. You can customize the form by moving and resizing widgets and deleting widgets; for some slot value types, you can also select another widget that is different from the default. For example, you can set up a widget which displays Symbol values as icons and allows the user to select those.

The Forms tab also allows you to create several user interfaces for the same ontology - forms for knowledge acquisition can be customized for different groups of users.

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