Ontologies for task management/version control/journaling


In thinking about task management or version control or journalling software, the PROV ontology looks really useful, but it uses the word ‘was’ a lot:

Is there a similar ontology that uses the words ‘will be’ or ‘might be’ in place of ‘was’, to speculate about things?


Thanks for your post - very interesting.
I think this ontology would be enough to capture the essential apects of the web -
all other stuff (like reference to activities in the future for example) can be implemented by
the application data structures and logic.
Have a nice day.

To answer your question: Such an ontoloy should differentiate between past, current and future activities.
Then you can formulate things like: “Agent will join project at December 2019” or
“Activity was finished” or “Entity expected to change in 3 days” and so on…
Hope this can help :slight_smile:


Add: The point I wanted to show: You can create new ontologies on the fly - but you need a good base model, you can rely on.


A simple model for tasking could be (sorry quality bad - generated in a hurry- but should show structure)

It’s not an ontology but more a first model aimed for concrete programming.


Maybe the subjects or entities from Prov could be used with predicates with future tenses from some other ontology. Prov also has an entity named Plan which implies the future but all the predicates seem to be past tense.


This is what I found in PROV Model Primer:

The provenance of digital objects represents their origins. PROV is a specification to express provenance records, which contain descriptions of the entities and activities involved in producing and delivering or otherwise influencing a given object.

Since the target of PROV is to express provenance records, it makes sense to express the predicates in the past tense.


Yes, for sure, it doesn’t look like it was meant to talk about speculation of what might be, but I’m just wondering how to extend it to do that, and what would be the most natural way to do that.


In epistemology means, any perceivable should be at least expressible, including the propositions with any tense in natural languages. So I agree that it would be meaningful of another ontology for “shoulds”, “mights” and “woulds”, if there are no existing ones. :+1:
To create it for wider adoption, maybe it’s better seek core W3C workgroup members’ suggestions, while involving someone with linguistics expertise.


Github is like a big git repository farm, where the repositories are kept in a silo when us villagers go home at night. Except its less like a silo and more like a pyramid, where the wealth of the land is siphoned off in the form of artworks made by the hands of many and kept sealed away to help a few get to heaven. It would be better to keep the artworks closer to where people make them and where they can be more like living changing things and not like sealed away dead ones.

So a git repository is basically an RDF graph in the PROV vocabulary, but the graph is all about ‘was’. This artifact was made by this artisan with these other artifacts once upon a time. But the graphs should also have embedded in them the plans and hopes of the village. They should have future branches and not just past ones.

Disclaimer: This is just an allegory and not intended as an actual description of any person or repository.


Indeed, PROV is very well suited for this. In fact, there was a project to translate git repos to PROV. The code is still here:

but the site that ran it is down. I have had the ambition of getting it back up running, as I’m using it for my Perl modules, but I haven’t gotten that far yet.


Git2prov looks great. I have some homework to do to think about extending or augmenting PROV for sort of collaborative speculation.

I wonder what the best way is to implement a git server in Solid. I have some homework to do to learn about git too. This article about decentralized collaborative knowledge management using git looks interesting if I can understand it.


Talking about ontologies: I am very happy that the OWL standard building upon RDF already exists.
In case you dont know: Short introduction on topic…


Yes, OWL is a really great thing. A while ago I wrote some small ontologies with it.

I even had the crazy dream of writing on ontology in OWL for the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, and went as far as making a beginning ontology in OWL for the section on OSHA codes for construction, occupational health and safety standards. There are a zillion very specific safety guidelines in there about everything like boilers, scaffolds, hazardous materials you name it. I thought it would be great to have OWL classes and descriptions of all that and then to be able to organize at least that section of the CFR accordingly. It was a huge undertaking that unfortunately, like with so many things, I didn’t get very far with.

It seems most people frown on making your own ontology, but I believe the original vision was that many ontologies would bloom and some would grow.

For this thing that I blathered about with the collaborative speculation, I would probably use a process like the one described here. If I get that far :grinning:


I recommend reading Ludwig Wittgenstein


I don’t know much about philosophy, but from reading his Wikipedia page he sounds like a character :slight_smile:

I think everybodys philosophy would take a complicated graph to describe, and then you have their different personas over time so it would take many graphs. That’s why I think most url’s will be personal. For example there would be one for the 2015 Subaru outback but then there may be a few million for everybody’s particular 2015 Subaru outback.