BFO 1.2 Proposal


Most of my work these days involves Open Biological and Biomedical Ontology (OBO) projects -- developing them and using them to link data across scientific databases such as IEDB and CEBS. OBO projects are committed to a set of principles and best practices. One of these is the use of a common high-level ontology to coordinate classes and relations. The Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) is much closer to what philosophers mean by "ontology" than the other OBO projects, but it also has a representation in the Web Ontology Lanugage (OWL) that most OBO projects use.

The current version of BFO is 1.1, and BFO 2 is under development. BFO 2.0 addresses many long-standing problems. However some of the changes are quite deep, and the transition from BFO 1.1 to 2.0 involves both technical and ontological changes.

With the help of a number of other ontology developers, I've drafted a proposal for an official BFO 1.2 release, intended to smooth the transition. BFO 1.2 makes most of the required technical changes without making those deep ontological changes. If the proposal is accepted, we can implement BFO 1.2 immediately, solve a number of interoperability problems, debug any other problems, and then be well prepared to implement BFO 2.0.