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Re: [ISSUE-77] [ISSUE-48] Re: [Dbpedia-discussion] Skos subject properties are deprecated

From: Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 14:15:57 +0100
Message-ID: <4799E10D.7060402@mondeca.com>
To: Jakob Voss <jakob.voss@gbv.de>
Cc: public-esw-thes@w3.org

Hello Jakob

(cc to SKOS forum only)

I agree with you basically, and I think I've expanded enough on this 

Nevertheless SKOS is not a purely formal language where names are just 
identifiers and labels purely decorative. It's a *vocabulary*. Those 
things, as simple as they eventually turn out to be, were hard to figure 
for many of us, and will be harder to explain to the world. Would people 
use FOAF if the classes were called foaf:foo and foaf:bar instead of 
foaf:Person and foaf:Document? Not sure. Like it or not, the way things 
are called  (terminology) is important for outreach and adoption. We 
think with words, even if computers don't care.
I remember when I was studying maths that a good way to get students 
lost was to rewrite problems with non-standard notations. Call 
coordinates (f,q,g,h) instead of (x,y,z,t), and functions (X, Y, Z) and 
so on. It has an impressive impact on understanding, speed of computing 
and reasoning performance. Agreed, what it is is what it does (I think 
it's the third time I write this since yesterday), but how it is called 
helps a lot humans to figure both (what it is, and what it does). So, as 
long as we agree on the functionality of skos:subject, we have to come 
to the best possible consensus on how it should be called. It's not 
irrelevant to this forum.


Jakob Voss a écrit :
> Antoine wrote:
> > Cheers, (and thank you all of all for this very interesting discussion
> > on an important issue for SKOS. For the moment no formal decision has
> > been taken whether to deprecate skos:subject and to "replace" it by
> > dc:subject, so any input is welcome)
> The discussion is interesting and irrelevant in the same way.
>> Actually in your wikipedia case there might be a problem anyway. I 
>> would not say that it is the TimBL resource which is about the 
>> history of the net, but its description on wikipedia: what if this 
>> description had been purely biological (size, hair color, preferred 
>> beer)? In this case the categorization of the resource you describe 
>> under "history of the internet" would be problematic, wouldn't it?
> Neither SKOS in general nor the Wikipedia category system is about 
> "categorization". There is no general wrong or right in subject 
> indexing, it always depends on the concrete application. You can argue 
> and discuss endlessly about a the concrete indexing in Wikipedia or 
> any other application - but that's not our business! SKOS is not a 
> concrete knowledge organization scheme (KOS), but a vocabulary to 
> encode any simple (!) KOS.
> Richard wrote:
> > I feel that “A skos:subject B” carries a certain implication, in
> > natural language, that “A is about B”. I would prefer having another
> > property that does not carry that implication.
> >
> > “A skos:indexedIn B” --
> > “TimBL is indexed under the concept History of the Net”.
> Ontologies are not about feeling. If the term "subject" has a special 
> connotation then how about calling the relation "smirgel" or "kstfxy"? 
> Because that's what an RDF relation looks like to a Computer. There is 
> no inherent semantic in a relation but its usage - the usage of 
> skos:subject is to connect skos:Concept and any other resource. That's 
> all. There is no "aboutness" in RDF (unless you define it).
> Mikael wrote:
> > I think there might be a point in having a generic property attaching
> > a resource to a Concept, but it has to be as general as
> > "associatedWith".
> Name it "subject", "associatedWith", or "indexedIn" - the point is to 
> have a relation to connect skos:Concepts with other resources. 
> Everything more that that is not simple anymore so it should not be 
> part of SKOS.
> Greetings,
> Jakob


*Bernard Vatant
*Knowledge Engineering
*3, cité Nollez 75018 Paris France
Web:    www.mondeca.com <http://www.mondeca.com>
Tel:       +33 (0) 871 488 459
Mail:     bernard.vatant@mondeca.com <mailto:bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
Blog:    Leçons de Choses <http://mondeca.wordpress.com/>
Received on Friday, 25 January 2008 13:16:09 UTC

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