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Re: thesaurus interchange language

From: Stella Dextre Clarke <stella@lukehouse.org>
Date: Fri, 01 Aug 2008 23:22:45 +0100
Message-ID: <48938CB5.9040609@lukehouse.org>
To: Stephen Bounds <km@bounds.net.au>
CC: Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>, SKOS <public-esw-thes@w3.org>

Stephen Bounds wrote:
> Hi Stella,
> I didn't know about DD8723-5 format.  It does seem to cover most of the 
> requirements of a thesaurus interchange language.  Am I right in 
> thinking that you are involved in its revision process 
> (http://www2.db.dk/nkos-workshop/pp%20presentationer/NKOS-Stella.pdf)?
Yes, I'm the Convenor of the committee which developed it, and I am the 
Leader of the ISO Project which is using BS 8723 as the basis for 
revising ISO 2788 and ISO 5964 to produce ISO 25964.
> If so, I'd be interested in hearing what you see as the relevant 
> strengths and weaknesses of DD8723-5 and SKOS, and more importantly why 
> you think it's better to create two separate dialects rather than 
> standardising on one...
The BS 8723 committee felt it was important to have a format capable of 
carrying a thesaurus with all of the features recommended or allowed by 
that standard (or ISO 2788, etc). SKOS can cope with most of the 
features, but not all of them. For example, compound non-preferred terms 
are particularly challenging. Another difference is that SKOS has an RDF 
binding (as appropriate for use on the Semantic Web) whereas DD8723-5 
uses XML binding, since this is more widely used than RDF. Converting 
between the two formats should be feasible in most cases, and it is 
hoped to develop transformations for this purpose.
>  From my perspective the beauty of SKOS is that it's flexible and 
> extensible enough to allow a huge variety of uses.  A thesaurus just 
> happens to be a really important use case because if SKOS becomes a 
> lingua franca for thesauri (and particularly *big* thesauri like MDA, 
> AAT, LCSH), then the SKOS standard will instantly get huge mindshare 
> among Information Managers and Librarians.
LCSH a thesaurus? Not if you measure it against the rules in ISO 2788 
and BS 8723.

All the best

Stella Dextre Clarke
Information Consultant
Luke House, West Hendred, Wantage, OX12 8RR, UK
Tel: 01235-833-298
Fax: 01235-863-298
Received on Friday, 1 August 2008 22:23:17 UTC

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