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Re: [dxwg] Stability of DCAT version URIs (#1128)

From: NancyJean via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2019 15:09:00 +0000
To: public-dxwg-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-545490458-1571843339-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
I appreciate the explanation and do think that you need to make your versioning policy explicit in the documentation.  As to following the versioning policies of DCMI and W3C  - well, I suppose that's their choice as much as it is yours.

That said, I'm not entirely convinced that the reasons posited for not versioning are in the best interest of the DCAT user community.  Among the reasoning in issue 131 for not versioning are 2 seemingly self serving statements: 
"... defining a new namespace for DCAT2 should be an absolute last resort. Doing so would set the clock back in terms of establishing DCAT's acceptance - and it already has a lot of competition."

"My worry is that if this group were to define a new namespace for DCAT2 with roughly the same semantics as DCAT1, very few implementers of DCAT1 might see the need to upgrade."  

I think the latter statement makes my point -- users of DCAT1 should not have to upgrade.  As a potential DCAT user, I don't want to be forced or coerced to upgrade when a new version is issued - and really I'm concerned more about versioning changes to existing properties and Classes than the addition of new.  While changes to existing properties and Classes may not break backward compatibility, they may affect the intellectual basis of a broader model in which DCAT is just a part.  If I'm extending DCAT1 with an external property because  a narrowly defined DCAT1 property doesn't fit my needs, and then you later change/broaden the DCAT property without changing the namespace, that affects the intellectual underpinnings of my model. Agreed it doesn't necessarily break the model, but the modeling decision is no longer valid.

As to this reason - "Even if you were to define a new namespace, you'd then have the problem of people using, say, dcat:Distribution when in fact, oh silly developer, you meant dcat2:Distribution; don't you know the difference?" That seems a little flippant and I wonder if the user community is being given sufficient credit for being able to correctly apply versioned URIs. 



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Received on Wednesday, 23 October 2019 15:09:02 UTC

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