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[SKOS] About notations and datatypes (was Re: Comments on Vocabularies document, v 1.15)

From: Antoine Isaac <aisaac@few.vu.nl>
Date: Sat, 04 Oct 2008 15:26:22 +0200
Message-ID: <48E76EFE.4040802@few.vu.nl>
To: Norman Gray <norman@astro.gla.ac.uk>
CC: Alasdair Gray <agray@dcs.gla.ac.uk>, SWD WG <public-swd-wg@w3.org>, SKOS <public-esw-thes@w3.org>

Hello Norman,

Glad that my comments on IVOA vocabularies document could help a bit!

About the following issue:

>
>> - I think your proposed example for notations is not compliant with 
>> what the SKOS Reference and Primer say about these [1,2]. 
>> skos:notation should be used with literals with a specific datatype, 
>> as in
>> ex:udc512 skos:prefLabel "Algebra" ;
>> skos:notation "512"^^ex:myUDCNotationDatatype .
>> (and yes, it is not a very simple representation. Which is why we 
>> left the "private use tags with skos:prefLabel" option available...)
>
> Ah, we hadn't spotted that.  Given that a vocabulary and its notations 
> are defined in a PDF document http://foo/bar.pdf (which is distinct 
> from the current document), I suppose I can refer to this as follows:
>
> <#concept>
>   skos:notation "1.2.3"^^<#notation> .
> <#notation>
>   dc:description "The notation is defined in the document 
> http://foo/bar.pdf" .
>
> Would that be correct?  It appears to be consistent with the text in 
> SKOS Reference section 6.5.
>
> In this context, I can see little benefit in creating an XSchema 
> datatype, and requiring something like that would increase the 
> complication of the Recommendation we're writing.

I would be rather sceptical about defining an explicit XML datatype, too.
Honnestly I've always been sceptical about the skos:notation stuff, 
because it seemed to be forcing people to make too complex things.
But in fact if your suggestion is correct (and it seems to be!) that 
would give a good balance, anchoring a string to a well-identified and 
accessible notation-defining space and still not defining this space 
formally. I'd be tempted to mention more explicitly this practice in the 
Primer, also (in which case it would be our turn to be thankful to you ;-)

Now, I'm not a real expert in RDF datatypes, it would be great if 
someone on the list could validate your approach with more certainty. 
Especially, if it is something that shall be encouraged or discouraged 
(my two cents is that it should be encouraged if we want people to use 
skos:notation). Jeremy's opinion would be useful, as he co-authored [3]!

Cheers,

Antoine

[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/NOTE-swbp-xsch-datatypes-20060314



>
> Thanks again for the comments.  Best wishes,
>
> Norman
>
>
Received on Saturday, 4 October 2008 14:30:29 GMT

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