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What about "taxonomies"? RE: Glossary of terms relating to thesauri and faceted classification

From: Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 12:31:42 +0100
To: "Leonard Will" <L.Will@willpowerinfo.co.uk>, "SKOS" <public-esw-thes@w3.org>
Message-ID: <GOEIKOOAMJONEFCANOKCMEEHFIAA.bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>


Re-reading your excellent work, I'm not finding the word "taxonomy" anywhere.

OTOH, the SKOS page presents SKOS Core as "an RDF vocabulary for describing thesauri,
glossaries, taxonomies, terminologies".

This word "taxonomy" makes me really nervous, because it is used by so many people in so
many different ways ... And I would gladly live without it, except in its original sense
used in my botanics books and that seems to be consistent with

But the IT industry has decided it otherwise, and seem to use the word in all sorts of
ways which, at the end of the day, seems to me, boil down to some kind of
And customers keep asking our salesman : "How do you manage taxonomies?", and he forwards
the questions to me :((

See e.g. vendors like
beware if you use Firefox browser, the latter is not happy with it ...

I would like to have the opinion of folks here about this "taxonomy" issue before
answering "skos:ConceptScheme" when people say "Taxonomy" :))

Similar question for "terminology", BTW

Thanks for your lights



Bernard Vatant
Senior Consultant
Knowledge Engineering

"Making Sense of Content" :  http://www.mondeca.com
"Everything is a Subject" :  http://universimmedia.blogspot.com


> -----Message d'origine-----
> De : public-esw-thes-request@w3.org
> [mailto:public-esw-thes-request@w3.org]De la part de Leonard Will
> Envoye : jeudi 13 janvier 2005 11:03
> A : SKOS
> Cc : Stella Dextre Clarke; Alan Gilchrist; Ron Davies
> Objet : Glossary of terms relating to thesauri and faceted
> classification
> I have put up a glossary of terms relating to thesauri, faceted
> classification and related topics at
> <http://www.willpowerinfo.co.uk/glossary.htm>.
> This is based on discussions between a group of specialists in the area
> of thesaurus development from a library / information science /
> information management point of view rather than a technical computer
> approach. We hope that it will aid understanding and provide common
> ground between those with this background and those who are now
> developing applications of these ideas within a computer and semantic
> web context.
> We are still discussing some of the definitions among ourselves, so they
> should not be taken as definitive, but I thought it useful to let you
> know of this list now so that we can receive feedback if you find
> problems with any of the definitions, if they are unclear or conflict
> with usage elsewhere.
> Best wishes
> Leonard Will
> --
> Willpower Information       (Partners: Dr Leonard D Will, Sheena E Will)
> Information Management Consultants              Tel: +44 (0)20 8372 0092
> 27 Calshot Way, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 7BQ, UK. Fax: +44 (0)870 051 7276
> L.Will@Willpowerinfo.co.uk               Sheena.Will@Willpowerinfo.co.uk
> ---------------- <URL:http://www.willpowerinfo.co.uk/> -----------------
Received on Wednesday, 2 February 2005 11:31:52 UTC

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