To compare two text files and check for differences, you can use the Unix
diff command on Linux or Mac OS X:
diff file1.txt file2.txt
or on Windows the
FC file1.txt file2.txt
Any number of graphical diff tools are also available, for example FileMerge is part of Apple’s free XCode tools.
Although OWL ontology files are text, it’s possible to have two identical ontologies saved to two files with very different structure. ROBOT provides a
diff command that compares two ontologies while ignoring these differences:
robot diff --left edit.owl --right release.owl
--output is provided then a report will be written with any differences between the two ontologies:
robot diff --left edit.owl \ --right release.owl \ --output results/release-diff.txt
See release-diff.txt for an example. In the output, ‘Ontology 1’ corresponds to your
--left input and ‘Ontology 2’ corresponds to your
The default “plain” output is in OWL Functional syntax with IRIs. You can include entity labels with
--labels true. In addition, Markdown and HTML diff formats (based on Manchester syntax) are available. You can select the desired format using the
-f) option, with possible values
pretty (text with labels and CURIEs),
You can also compare ontologies by IRI with
--right-iri. You may want to compare a local file to a release, in which case:
robot diff --left edit.owl \ --right-iri http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/release.owl
You may specify the input with either
--right-iri, but you may not use both option methods for one side.
--right input ontologies are required.