Knotation: A notation for knowledge representation

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Context-sensitive information about Knotation.

Learn more with the Knotation Quick Start!

What is Knotation useful for?

Knotation helps people read and write RDF data and OWL ontologies. It's useful for developing ontologies, for applying ontologies to your data, and for working with linked data in general.

Where can I get Knotation?

Documentation is available at Source code and tools are available from our GitHub organization at

How do I use Knotation?

How does Knotation compare to format X?

Knotation is a concrete syntax for RDF datasets with strong support for OWL. It combines the best features of:

  • Turtle: prefixed names, subject stanzas, multiline strings, comments
  • JSON-LD: labels, default datatypes, contexts
  • Manchester: human-readable OWL expressions
  • YAML: lightweight line-based syntax

Knotation is still in early development. Several planned features have not yet been implemented.

RDF/XML N-Triples
JSON-LD Manchester Knotation
file extensions rdf, xml, owl nt, nq ttl, trig json, json-ld omn kn
human readability poor poor good mixed good excellent
triples yes yes yes yes poor yes
quads (named graphs) NQuads TriG yes planned
prefixed names yes yes yes yes yes
labels yes yes
default datatypes yes yes
multiline strings yes yes yes yes
RDF list syntax yes planned
anonymous object syntax yes planned
OWL logic syntax yes partial
OWL annotation syntax yes planned

Learn more with the Knotation Quick Start!

How does Knotation work with tool Y?

Knotation files are just text files, so you can use them with many other tools:

  • You can read and write Knotation using any program that works with plain text, from your favourite text editor to command-line tools and scripts.
  • You can copy-and-paste Knotation anywhere you can use text: email, text documents, issue trackers, etc.
  • You can store Knotation files in version control, and your pull requests will be easier to read and revise.
  • You can convert Knotation to other RDF/OWL formats and use the results with other linked data tools: put it in a triple store; use ROBOT to reason over it; view in Protégé.
  • You can convert other RDF/OWL formats to Knotation, making them easier to read and edit.

Who wrote Knotation?

Knotation is an open source project written by our contributors, and shared under a BSD licence. See our GitHub organization for details.

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