Hint: The current directory is based on semAuth version 0.8x. Find the legacy documentation of semAuth version 0.6 (GPL) at http://www.jbusse.de/semauth06 .

What is semAuth?


The tool semAuth combines an ontology editor with a website template engine. Knuth's idea of literate programming is revived in the semantic web context: A SKOS tree or a fully fledged ontology (including rules) is extracted from it's own documentation.

Key idea of semantic authoring

To author a text means to construct several layers of information representation concurrently. In general you provide

  • layout markup, which describes how to render a text: e.g. fonts, colors or layout information like paragraphs, list etc.
  • text structure which can be used for navigation, like headings, tables and figures, indexes and more.

Semantic authoring weaves an additional content type into these layers of text: The tool semAuth allows you to create an html website with a semantic network woven in such that

  • a human reader can follow qualified links to the subjects of the domain in question
  • a machine can extract a semantically encoded model of the domain in question

The technique is called Resource Description Framework in attributes (RDFa) . Under the surface RDFa enriched texts turn out to be fully fledged micro databases.

The tool semAuth allows you to model content of a text as a semantic network - at the same time you are writing well structured human readable prose.

Basic idea of our implementation

Basic idea: The overall knowledge representation makes use of the mindmapping method.

  • Rich content nodes represent chunks of inline text, nodes with one single char like "h", "p" or "-" represent html blocks.
  • Semantic icons like (C), (i) or (=>) mark a node being a class, an instance or a domain/range. Short chains (tree paths) of icon tagged nodes represent RDFS triples.

Text structure and semantic icons can be altered without loosing tree information: This allows for a seamless transgression from early to late stages of ontology engineering.


Technology: Semauth.xsl tranlates freemind .mm files in a batch process into a buch of static files. We recommend freeplane.sf.net as frontend.

Our busines model

Busines model: Ontology Engineering is an expert task - even with mindmaps. Our customers get version 0.8 for free as a productivity tool. Version 0.6 is published under GPL Licence on sourceforge.