The advantage of rolling your own curation tool is that you can make it work exactly the way you want to match your workflow. The disadvantage (naturally) is that you have to implement the parts that match your workflow. I spent some time over the weekend with the plan to do some more curation (to have something to share at the Phenotype RCN meeting this week), but this quickly turned to fixing a number of gaps and some minor layout redesign on the assertion (annotation) entry page. Probably the most import items in terms of workflow were redirecting the browser after a assertion or participant were entered, rather than simply returning to a blank page. This was pretty straightforward as the page already had the ability to parse URL arguments and load the appropriate assertion and participant records into the forms. I also added a button at the bottom of the form to go directly to a blank form for adding the next assertion (previously you needed to go back to the home page and use the enter assertion button in the left column).
I also added links to the appropriate assertion pages from the participant list table and the assertion list page, which now shows pidgin OWL and a publication reference string rather than id numbers. The link from the list shows the assertion and the primary participant.
The other issue I’ve been thinking about came up when I started reviewing the Aiken and Coyle (2000) annotations. One of the most interesting behavioral observations in the paper was the multiple methods of prey capture in Tetagnatha straminea (both web capture but also direct capture using leg spines). Clearly the existing annotations fail to capture this. Part of this is the general difficulty of describing negatives, in description logic in general and more particularly in OWL-EL. However, the more immediate problem was that there are two assertions of prey capture and the notion that one involves web + legs as participants and the other involves only the legs is missing. The necessity of using predator behavior as the behavior tag only compounds the problem.