Git4Voc: Collaborative vocabulary development based on git
Collaborative vocabulary development in the context of data integration is the process of finding consensus between experts with different backgrounds, system understanding and domain knowledge. The complexity of this process increases with the number of people involved, the variety of the systems to be integrated and the dynamics of their domain. In this paper, we advocate that the usage of a powerful version control system is one of the keys to address this problem. Driven by this idea and the success of the version control system Git in the context of software development, we investigate the applicability of Git for collaborative vocabulary development. Even though vocabulary development and software development have much more similarities than differences, there are still important challenges. These need to be considered in the development of a successful versioning and collaboration system for vocabulary development. Therefore, this paper starts by presenting the challenges we are faced with during the collaborative creation of vocabularies and discusses its distinction to software development. Drawing from these findings, we present Git4Voc which comprises guidelines on how Git can be adopted to vocabulary development. Finally, we demonstrate how Git hooks can be implemented to go beyond the plain functionality of Git by realizing vocabulary-specific features like syntactic validation and semantic diffs.