April 19, 2015

Introduction to the OpenCyc KB Browser

The OpenCyc KB Browser is the main interface tool for accessing the Cyc Knowledge Base (Cyc KB). It provides a means for browsing the KB in a number of different ways, a means for querying the KB, and (for registered users) a means for modifying or adding to the KB itself.

The OpenCyc KB Browser can also be viewed as one of several “launching points” into the Cyc System. From the KB Browser, it is possible to reach virtually all other areas of the Cyc System simply by following HTML links. One of the chief access points is the Cyc Navigator, but there are many other routes that can be followed. More information on navigating around is provided farther down in this document, as well as in the help documentation that can be accessed from the KB Browser itself. Before you try to do anything else with the KB, it is recommended that you read the relevant sections of this document. It will tell you how to start an OpenCyc image, log into the system, view and modify the KB, and use the various options provided with the browser.

A useful companion document to this one is a tutorial entitled “Using the Cyc Web Interface”. The tutorial provides a handy walk-through of many of the facilities of the Cyc System. If available, it is located in the “Cyc Course Materials” section of the Cyc Documentation: Table of Contents.

Layout of the OpenCyc KB Browser

The display for the OpenCyc KB Browser consists of three main frames/areas:

  • Top Frame: the top frame is the Toolbar Frame. It is used for searching for constants in the Cyc Knowledge Base (KB), navigating around the KB Browser via various tools, and logging in. The Toolbar Frame is always present in the KB Browser. If frames are turned off, the Toolbar will appear at the top of each page.
  • Middle Frame: the middle frame is the Main Display Frame. It is used to display constants, assertions, help documentation, and various KB Browser tools. There is no standard display for the Main display frame; rather, the display changes when various links are clicked in any of the three main frames. If frames are turned off, this part of the display will appear under both the Toolbar and the Agenda Status Bar.
  • Bottom Frame: the bottom frame is the Agenda Status Bar. It provides information about the Cyc Agenda and the local OpenCyc image, and also provides means for controlling the behavior of the Cyc Agenda. If frames are turned off, the Agenda Status Bar will appear immediately below the Toolbar, at the top of each page.

The OpenCyc KB Browser offers essentially the same interface for all different platforms. Not all versions of the Cyc System have the same exact features, however, and so there will be a few visible differences between versions. For example, the C version may have different options than the LISP version, or an extra diagnostic tool may be available in the Cycorp internal version that is not available in a released version. When possible, these minor discrepancies have been pointed out in the help documentation, though it is not always possible to describe differences in detail; simply be aware that such differences do exist.

Note about Frames and JavaScript

The enabling or disabling of frames and JavaScript will have an effect on the display features and capabilities of the KB Browser. These differences will be described in the help documentation when they are relevant to that particular section of the KB Browser.

However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind as you use the Browser:

  • Constant completion requires that JavaScript be enabled. If it is turned off, no [Complete] buttons will appear, and completion will not be possible.
  • Turning frames off will change the overall layout as mentioned above, plus all references to frames in the documentation will be irrelevant; however, the names of the tools (e.g., Agenda Status Bar) will still be applicable. Also, though “Update” and “Refresh” links throughout the Browser are designed to affect only a single frame, when frames are turned off they will refresh the entire HTML page.

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