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Re: SKOS Core Guide new introduction

From: Thomas Baker <thomas.baker@bi.fhg.de>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 16:57:45 +0100
To: Mark van Assem <mark@cs.vu.nl>
Cc: "Miles, AJ (Alistair)" <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk>, public-esw-thes@w3.org
Message-ID: <20050127155745.GJ1788@Octavius>

I agree - it looks good!!

Tom

On Wed, Jan 26, 2005 at 03:43:33PM +0100, Mark van Assem wrote:
> Hi Alistair,
> 
> Good job! I think it's pretty clear while still remaining concise. The 
> graph also clarifies a lot (maybe add a small legenda?). The statement 
> below the graph for which people this guide may be of interest motivates 
> the readers who are still doubting whether to read on.
> 
> Mark.
> 
> Miles, AJ (Alistair) wrote:
> 
> >Hi all,
> >
> >In response to basic issues 1 & 2 from Tom (see below) I've reworked the
> >introductory section of the SKOS Core Guide:
> >
> >http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/core/guide/2005-01-25.html
> >
> >What do you think?
> >
> >Haven't tried a new abstract as yet.
> >
> >Cheers,
> >
> >Al.
> >
> >
> >
> >>-----Original Message-----
> >>From: public-esw-thes-request@w3.org
> >>[mailto:public-esw-thes-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Thomas Baker
> >>Sent: 10 January 2005 13:32
> >>To: SWAD Europe Thesaurus
> >>Subject: Review of SKOS documents - 1/2
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>Dear all,
> >>
> >>As a member of the Semantic Web Best Practices working group
> >>I was asked to review several SKOS documents, and Alistair
> >>suggested I re-post my comments for discussion here as well.
> >>
> >>I only recently joined this list and do not know if some of
> >>the questions I raise haven't already been discussed, perhaps
> >>even at length.  Also, as I make clear in my comments, I tend
> >>to read things through Dublin Core glasses.
> >>
> >>I divided my comments into two parts: basic issues (attached
> >>below) and points of stylistic detail (the next message).
> >>
> >>Tom
> >>
> >>---
> >>
> >>
> >>Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2004 10:46:03 +0100
> >>From: Thomas Baker <thomas.baker@bi.fhg.de>
> >>To: "Miles, AJ (Alistair)" <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk>
> >>Cc: "'public-swbp-wg@w3.org'" <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>
> >>Subject: Re: [ALL] PORT documents for internal review - 1/2
> >>Sender: public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>>The following documents are submitted to the working group 
> >>
> >>for internal
> >>
> >>>review:
> >>>
> >>>(A) SKOS Core Vocabulary Specification (2004-12-17 version)
> >>>http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/core/spec/2004-12-17.html
> >>>
> >>>(B) SKOS Core Guide (2004-11-25 version)
> >>>http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/core/guide/2004-11-25.html
> >>>
> >>>(C) Quick Guide to Publishing a Thesaurus on the Semantic 
> >>
> >>Web (2004-11-17
> >>
> >>>version)
> >>>http://www.w3.org/2004/03/thes-tf/primer/2004-11-17.html
> >>>
> >>>The nominated reviewers for these documents are:
> >>>
> >>>Mark van Assem (on behalf of Guus Schreiber)
> >>>Tom Baker
> >>>
> >>>Reviews should be posted to this list by 10 January 2005.
> >>
> >>My review focuses on Document B -- the 40-page overview of SKOS
> >>Core -- though my comments have implications for the other two.
> >>
> >>Overall, this is excellent, careful work.  I want to say
> >>this up-front because, after a close reading of the document,
> >>I end up raising quite a few points of detail.
> >>
> >>My second posting will raise points of wording and
> >>presentation.  This posting covers three more fundamental
> >>issues:
> >>
> >>1. Reaching the intended audience
> >>
> >>  As discussed in the telecon of 16 December [1]:
> >>  >   The guide is human-readable intro - how to use it:
> >>  >   features of vocabulary, with examples.  In the last
> >>  >   telecon, we agreed to make it accessible to non-RDF
> >>  >   people, but proved to be nearly impossible to write -
> >>  >   would have been extremely long.  Rather, we restrict
> >>  >   the scope to people who basically understand RDF,
> >>  >   then if we want to present porting issues, we will
> >>  >   do that in a separate doc which explains basic
> >>  >   concepts (not yet written).  From there, we can
> >>  >   look at developing add'nl method notes.
> >>
> >>  A separate document on "basic concepts" will be a useful
> >>  thing, but in the meantime a bit more introduction is
> >>  perhaps needed in the SKOS Core Guide itself.
> >>
> >>  The Guide does assume that the reader is RDF-literate.
> >>  However, it presents that RDF in the form of RDF/XML
> >>  serialization syntax.  While the Introduction emphasizes
> >>  that SKOS Core is not "an XML syntax for concept schemes",
> >>  this is done to make the point that N3/Turtle or N-Triple
> >>  could be used just as well -- and not to reinforce the
> >>  more basic point that "what is fundamental to RDF is the
> >>  graph model" [RDF-PRIMER].
> >>
> >>  One or two simple node-arc diagrams right at the beginning
> >>  of the draft might be a simple and readable way to present
> >>  the "basic concepts" behind SKOS.
> >>
> >>  For example, the example concept from the Quick Guide
> >>  ("Economic cooperation") illustrates in itself some basic
> >>  features of SKOS Core: skos:Concepts, related to other
> >>  broader or narrower skos:Concepts, with preferred versus
> >>  alternate labels.  Presenting this one example as a simple
> >>  diagram with labeled arcs and nodes could be a good way
> >>  to present the basic idea.
> >>
> >>  The introductory message, then, could convey something
> >>  like the following message:
> >>
> >>     Thesauri represent semantic relations among concepts
> >>     [insert "Economic cooperation" example here, along with
> >>     citations for BS8723, ISO 2788, and other thesaurus
> >>     standards].
> >>
> >>     Here is how the example looks as an RDF graph using the
> >>     SKOS Core vocabulary [inser a node-and-arc diagram here].
> >>
> >>     If your vocabulary has a similar structure, you will
> >>     be interested in reading this Guide because it will
> >>     tell you how you can express your vocabulary in, or
> >>     translate your vocabulary into, an RDF model using the
> >>     SKOS Core vocabulary.  Using the RDF model will allow
> >>     your vocabulary to be linked to or merged with other
> >>     data structures by RDF applications.
> >>
> >>2. What SKOS Core "is"
> >>
> >>  The Abstract begins:
> >>
> >>       "SKOS Core is a supporting RDF Vocabulary..."
> >>
> >>  To me, this choice of wording raises several questions
> >>  that are not really answered in the rest of the text.
> >>
> >>  Someone familiar with RDF -- the target audience of
> >>  the draft -- might correctly take an "RDF Vocabulary"
> >>  to be something like "a vocabulary of terms usable as
> >>  Properties and Classes in the RDF model".  In the absence
> >>  of a definition, however, the reader could confuse it with
> >>  "The RDF Vocabulary" ("a set of URI references in the rdf:
> >>  namespace" [2]).  Some readers, concluding that SKOS Core is
> >>  only relevant to people who are already "using RDF", might
> >>  stop reading right here.  A definition of "RDF vocabulary"
> >>  up-front, with a pointer to [3], could address this.
> >>
> >>  But is the SKOS Core Guide really primarily about a
> >>  vocabulary?  Or is it really about a particular data
> >>  model based, in turn, on the RDF model?  Reducing SKOS
> >>  Core to the vocabulary alone seems a bit like reducing
> >>  RDF to "The RDF Vocabulary".  Saying that SKOS Core is a
> >>  "supporting" vocabulary makes one ask: supporting what?
> >>
> >>  Rather, describing SKOS Core as a "model" for expressing
> >>  knowledge organization structures such as thesauri could
> >>  perhaps correct this narrow perspective, shifting the
> >>  reader's attention to the model of entities being described
> >>  ("skos:Concepts" and relationships between them) and how
> >>  the vocabulary "supports" that model.
> >>
> >>3. Ownership and maintenance of SKOS
> >>
> >>  In the Vocabulary Management task force, we are trying to
> >>  formulate (and illustrate) a best-practice guideline to
> >>  the effect that vocabulary maintainers should "articulate
> >>  and publish maintenance policies for the Terms and their
> >>  URI references".  It is not clear from the documents (in
> >>  particular the SKOS Core Vocabulary Specification) who
> >>  is ultimately taking responsibility for the maintenance
> >>  of the SKOS vocabulary.  Is W3C implicitly assuming that
> >>  responsibility?  I'm wondering to what extent the SWBPD
> >>  working group needs to address these questions as a basis
> >>  for any recommendations it may want to issue.
> >>
> >>  As a related issue, the Vocabulary Spec is generated from
> >>  the RDF representation, implying that the RDF representation
> >>  is canonical and the Web document is derived.  Yet it is
> >>  the Web document that we are reviewing, presumably to
> >>  assign the Web document some sort of status in the W3C
> >>  context.  Which representation is primarily the object of
> >>  maintenance?  This relationship between the Web document
> >>  and the underlying RDF representation should perhaps be
> >>  addressed in the Introduction.
> >>
> >>[1] 
> >
> >http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-swbp-wg/2004Dec/0099.html:
> >[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf-mt/
> >[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf-schema/
> >
> 
> -- 
>  Mark F.J. van Assem - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
>        mark@cs.vu.nl - http://www.cs.vu.nl/~mark
> 
> 

-- 
Dr. Thomas Baker                        Thomas.Baker@izb.fraunhofer.de
Institutszentrum Schloss Birlinghoven         mobile +49-160-9664-2129
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft                          work +49-30-8109-9027
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Personal email: thbaker79@alumni.amherst.edu
Received on Thursday, 27 January 2005 15:55:50 GMT

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