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Re: Standard format for exchange of thesaurus data?

From: Sue Ellen Wright <sellenwright@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2007 22:46:05 -0400
Message-ID: <e35499310707091946m6c638809m877a7c1d0e8351c5@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Stella Dextre Clarke" <sdclarke@lukehouse.demon.co.uk>
Cc: public-esw-thes@w3.org
Hi, Stella,
I'm sorry I didn't get back to you on the other standards  -- I did have
some little stylist things mostly, but I am swamped with some terminology
standards that won't wait. I will try to look at your schemas -- my real
expert xml schema colleague (he works with Marcia Zeng) is back in Kent and
I'm in NYC at a metadat conference on my way to Cologne. If you would send
me your alternate schema I'll take a look and most importantly see if my
colleagues Gerhard Budin and Klaus-Dirk Schmitz will have time to join me. I
don't promise anything, howver -- it's going to be a hectic two weeks.
Bye for now
Sue Ellen

On 7/9/07, Stella Dextre Clarke <sdclarke@lukehouse.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> This message is for list members who are interested in a format designed
> primarily for the exchange of whole thesauri rather than for live
> interrogation of an online thesaurus. We need it to complete Part 5 of
> BS 8723 - a standard that has been mentioned regularly on this list. The
> format is to use XML but unlike SKOS it does not use RDF. (We hope,
> however, that mapping to and from SKOS will be straightforward.)
> Work on drafting the standard is now well advanced, but we have some
> difficult choices and would welcome feedback from anyone who is willing
> to evaluate the model and schemas developed so far. (See
> http://porism.tdmweb.co.uk/BS8723/). A few words of explanation before
> you go there...
> Although BS 8723 Part 3 covers many different types of vocabulary, our
> advisory group for Part 5 warned that it would be difficult to develop a
> format adequate for all of them. The decision was made to focus on the
> needs for monolingual and multilingual thesauri (which are described in
> Parts 2 and 4 respectively). Thus it should enable the exchange of
> thesauri with any or all of the features described in Part 2, plus the
> features of Part 4 that are relevant to multilingual thesauri, but leave
> aside classification schemes, subject headings, ontologies etc, and data
> conveying mappings between these vocabularies. This is already quite a
> demanding objective, because Part 2 includes provisions for some
> sophisticated thesauri, with options for special features that may not
> be needed in simpler vocabularies.
> The first step was therefore to develop a data model for BS 8723-2,
> incorporating also some of the provisions of BS 8723-4. From that model
> an XML schema was derived, capable of serving as an exchange format, and
> I shall refer to this as our Original Schema.
> The schema may look quite complex to a newcomer. To overcome this
> problem (and we are not sure whether it really is a problem) two
> alternative approaches have been explored. One was to develop a
> simplified model and schema (which we call the Core Version, in contrast
> to the Full Version) that is absolutely compatible with the other, so
> that users could choose which to apply without risking
> misinterpretation. The disadvantage of the Core Version is that it
> cannot be used to convey all the features and elements described in
> BS8723-2. And some confusion may be caused by allowing two versions of
> the same Original Schema. More details of the Core and Full versions of
> the Original Schema may be found at http://porism.tdmweb.co.uk/BS8723/ ,
> together with the Model, and explanations of the assumptions made in
> deriving the schemas.
> The other approach we have explored is to develop a completely different
> Schema, based on Zthes. I don't like to send it herewith, in case the
> attachment causes trouble for distribution via the list. But if you are
> interested to evaluate the Alternative Schema, please ask and I'll send
> it to you. I can also send you a reference to Zthes, which is an
> application profile of Z39.50.
> An important part of evaluation is to test whether the schema can be
> used to convey sample data including all the wanted features. (And
> whether a thesaurus can be correctly reassembled from the XML file!) As
> you will see on the website, testing of the Full/Core versions of the
> Original Schema is well advanced, although not yet complete. A series of
> test files has been successfully encoded and then decoded correctly
> using an XSL transformation. The Alternative Schema has not yet been
> tested with these files.
> The questions that now confront us include:
> A) Do we now have a satisfactory format for data exchange?
> B) Should we choose the Original Schema or the Alternative Schema? ( We
> are determined to encourage interoperability by recommending just one,
> not a variety of formats.)
> C) If we choose the Original Schema, should we offer both the Core and
> Full versions, or is this just a source of confusion and we should
> present only the Full version? (Currently, our committee favours the
> latter approach.)
> We would greatly welcome opinions and reactions. I would ask you not to
> circulate the link more widely without the explanations I have included.
> The documents and web pages are all draft working documents, and
> amendments are sometimes made without any notification. We do not want
> to mislead or confuse people.
> Please let us know what you think!
> Regards
> Stella
> Convenor, BSI committee IDT/2/2/1
> *****************************************************
> Stella Dextre Clarke
> Information Consultant
> Luke House, West Hendred, Wantage, Oxon, OX12 8RR, UK
> Tel: 01235-833-298
> Fax: 01235-863-298
> SDClarke@LukeHouse.demon.co.uk
> *****************************************************

Sue Ellen Wright
Institute for Applied Linguistics
Kent State University
Kent OH 44242 USA
Received on Tuesday, 10 July 2007 02:46:12 UTC

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