Responding to this need, ShortBOL has been developed. ShortBOL is a human readable/writable shorthand for describing biological designs in SBOL
, and it has been developed for those familiar with the SBOL data model but that wish to rapidly sketch synbio designs using a simple language instead of writing code. ShortBOL is not intended to replace SBOL, however, which can represent additional complex design information, and is based on RDF, meaning it can benefit from existing Semantic Web tooling. ShortBOL is currently built around a minimal selection of language constructs, so there is a further need for future development of ShortBOL to support more complex features of the SBOL data model
(i.e. capturing the lineage of designs, combinatorial assembly, or encoding parameters and measures) and to use a syntax that is more commonplace in the synthetic biology community. The development of a new version that includes this as well as a fully online editor and expansion pipeline is currently ongoing. Check out the open access paper by Crowther et al. 2020 for more information on ShortBOL.