Gist is both a free reusable asset that you can use as the basis for your ontological work. It is also the distillation of a decade worth of ontological work at the enterprise level.

We've prepared a series of brief tutorials each of which describes some aspect of gist. Some of the early ones focus more on what gist is, and how to use it, as we get deeper in there will be a lot of commentary on why gist is the way it is.

We'll be releasing new modules periodically (which loosely means when we get around to it). If you like to be notified when we put a new one up here:

Video Tutorials

  • Using SKOS with gist – In this video, Dave McComb explains what SKOS is, why people use it, how it relates to gist, and how to convert an ontology from gist to SKOS.
  • Adding Temporality to Relationships – This video defines what a temporal relationship is, why it's necessary, and then explores how one would go about modeling it.
  • gist "Optional" Properties – This video offers debate and insight into dealing with optional and suggested property relations.
  • Quantities, Magnitudes, and Units & Measures in gist – This video explores how quantities, magnitudes, units, and measures are modeled in gist. We have adopted a simple but complete version of the Society International system of measures, which base all units in seven primitives (weight, distance, time duration, temperature, electric current, luminescence and of course molar quantity (basis for Avagadro's number for those who remember their Chemistry). We've extended it with ratios (speed) products (force) currency and count. all measures in gist are what we call magnitudes, and because of their tight coupling with gist Units we are able to support any arbitrary unit conversion.
  • How gist Marries Taxonomies & Ontologies – This video explores where an ontology leaves off and a taxonomy begins, when it comes to gist.
  • gist Disjoints – This video explores disjoints in OWL, why most ontologies don’t have disjoints, the power of disjoints in finding logical errors, how disjoints can go bad, and what we’ve implemented in gist.
  • gist Identifiers – All information systems are full of identifiers. Many large implementation projects have come a cropper attempting to convert an organization to some sort of “universal ID.” Skillful resolution of the issues that come with use of identifiers is a key challenge in system building. In this installment of gist, Dave reviews the three options that semantics provides for modeling and using identifiers (URI, datatype Property and first class object) describes the gist module for IDs and outlines how and when to use each strategy.
  • Getting Started with gist 7 – we cover three different ways to download and start working with gist.
  • Grokking gist – In this tutorial we cover "getting your head around" gist.
  • gist Composite Primitives – The core of gist are a dozen high level concepts that are mostly disjoint from each other. This tutorial covers what they are and why they have settled in the way they have.
  • Namespaces in gist – In this video, Dave McComb discusses "hash versus slash". We've adopted conventions for namespaces that are helpful to know if you're using gist, and might be reasonable to emulate when you create your own ontologies.
  • Approaching Addresses in gist – In this session, Dave McComb covers the gist approach to Addresses and how this handles most of the recurring problems people have with address designs. We take the position that addresses are not attributes of people or organizations but are first class objects in their own right. Many great things are made possible y this simple re-conceptualization.
  • Rights and Obligations – Turns out most of most business deal with the establishment, management, and discharging of obligations.
  • gist Governance – This video discusses governance, specifically in terms of how to handle governance issues when they arise.
  • Meta Level in gist – In this video, Dave explains meta levels in gist.
  • gist Geo – In this video, Dan Carey discusses gistGeo: geospatial data and ontology extensions for use with gist.
  • How gist Evolves – In this video, Michael Uschold discusses how gist evolves, how we track changes, as well as ongoing issues and suggestions.
  • gist, Bank Accounts, and the Integral Aperspectival - This topic is inspired by the confluence of three things: a client's idea of what a "Bank Account" is, an ontological definition of "BankAccount", and when a Bank Account is an "Address". Then we realized these three things are not three separate things but three ways to subjectively view the same ground data.
  • Time Instances & gist – Dan Carey brings us the rationale for treating time as instances in gist, the different classes and properties gist provides, etc.
  • TBox CBox ABox – Dave McComb discusses the TBox, CBox, and ABox and how such sets of axioms relate to gist.
  • Actions, Behaviors, Categories, and Processes – Mark Ouska hosts a lively discussion about gist:Action, gist:Behavior, and gist:Category, and how each of them does or does not fit into classes, sub-classes, and other categories.
  • Covering Concepts & gist 9.0.0 - Dave McComb goes into detail on covering concepts in gist, in addition to important changes with the release of gist 9.0.0.
  • How to Respond to the gist 9.0.0 Release - Dave McComb reviews and discusses important changes in the 9.0.0 release, with a special focus on exactly what one needs to do to respond to each change.
  • Expanding gist Units and Measures for Product Specifications - Michael Uschold takes time to review gist's Units and Magnitudes in addition to providing motivations and examples on how to expand Units and Measures to cover product specifications.
  • Historical Time Zones Geo Extensions - John Cowan proposes improvements to gist in order to take data from a time zone database utilizing a standardized format in addition to proposing a way for gist to deal with overlapping geographic regions.
  • Geo Concepts in gist 9: Times Zones and Polygons - Ted Hills continues the time zone discussion by examining the changes needed to take place in order to address John Cowan's proposals.
  • Geo Concepts in gist 9: Countries and Regions - Ted Hills closes out the Geo Concepts discussion by presenting a resolution on how to address countries.
  • Musings on Mereology - Dave McComb presents on refining gist's use of gist:partOf.
  • Events - Dave McComb lays out Semantic Arts' thought process for ontology design and then applies it to gist:Events as an example in efficiency.
  • Change Management - Rebecca Younes reviews the gist change management and release process in addition to the 9.1.0 release and style guide.
  • gist Concept of Ownable - Dan Carey proposes an approach to the idea of Ownable in the retail version of gist.