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Re: FOAF spec revised - addtion of foaf:focus, a skos extension linking topical and factual information

From: Christophe Dupriez <christophe.dupriez@destin.be>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2010 19:27:24 +0200
Message-ID: <4C62DD7C.6000603@destin.be>
To: Alistair Miles <alimanfoo@googlemail.com>
CC: public-esw-thes@w3.org
Hi Alistair, I do not resist to hitchike in this galaxy:

Dan's original definition:
"foaf:focus links a skos:Concept to the thing that the concept stands for"

This link being defined within the namespace of the representation system of the destination, it means that a similar relation term may be useful for other applications than FOAF and that this relation term may represent the SKOS contribution in the RDF network.

So what "essence" SKOS brings to the representation of a person, of some thing? It does not "document", it does not "explain" (like OWL), it does not "link". For me, the SKOS concept provides the terminology to make the person or thing discoverable / identifiable by humans. It "names" (a very ambiguous term).
It also "orders" things in a BT/NT pyramid. Something not so agreable for the FOAFed humans!

Some proposals:
foaf:namesFor
foaf:termsFor
foaf:controlledTermsFor
foaf:thesaurusEntryFor
foaf:skosConceptFor
or skos:conceptFor ?

The proof has been done again that people exchange much more knowledge when they have the excuse of discussing terminology than when (serious) topics are put directly on the table: at the end we may have finalized the way we want to relate SKOS concepts to their alter ego in other representation systems...

Question: skos:conceptFor (reciprocal foaf:skosConcept) or skos:termsFor (reciprocal foaf:skosTerms) would not be easierFor:everybody?

Good evening!

Christophe


Le 11/08/2010 18:19, Alistair Miles a écrit :
> Hi all,
>
> FWIW, I'm glad this is in FOAF, I think it's a useful pattern, and I
> could live with "foaf:focus" given a few good examples in the
> documentation.
>
> If a decision is made to change the name, the only thing I'd suggest
> is to steer clear of anything that might have any formal connotations
> regarding language or logic, and to keep it informal, quirky and if
> possible entirely novel.
>
> The bottom line is this is a useful pattern (e.g., where two blogs
> have a category for the Dalai Lama) and it's convenient from a
> programming point of view to have three nodes in the graph (one for
> each category and one for his holiness himself) and some triples
> linking them together ... but if you start thinking too hard about
> what your doing from a logical or philosophical point of view, well I
> start feeling like I've crossed the streams and pointed them at my own
> head - especially when I try to describe it to myself in terms of the
> RDF semantics and the interpretation function I. (Question: Does
> IEXT(I(foaf:focus)) describe the function I itself? Answer: 42. :-)
>
> That said, I can't resist having a go at thinking up a better name, so
> here's a few thoughts, some clearly won't work in FOAF because of
> other connotations, but might suggest other ideas...
>
> avatar
> cast
> quintessence
> tti (the thing itself)
> skosification / skosifies (my favourite, simply because it's novel)
> incarnation
> proxy
> surrogate
> delegate
> deputy
> portrait
> simile
> analogue
> echo
> reflection / reflects
> frankie / benjy :-)
>
> Cheers
>
> Alistair
>
> On Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 12:36 PM, Helmut Nagy<h.nagy@semantic-web.at>  wrote:
>    
>> Hi,
>>
>> we are following the discussion with great interest and are having a discussion here to so i will add some thoughts:
>>
>> Found this in the foaf discussion: "focus is more explicit: this is what this category or concept is "about""
>>
>> One concern we have is that foaf:focus may be misused in another way e.g to link a person to topics they have a "focus on"
>>
>> skos:"Helmut Nagy" foaf:focus http://rdf.freebase.com/ns/en.foaf
>>
>> So we also think that focus may be the wrong term.
>>
>> Cheers
>> Helmut
>>
>> | Helmut Nagy
>> | Semantic Web Company GmbH
>> | Lerchenfelder Guertel 43/5
>> | A - 1160 Wien, Austria
>>
>> COMPANY INFORMATION
>> | http://www.semantic-web.at/ | http://www.i-semantics.at/ | http://blog.semantic-web.at/
>>
>> PERSONAL INFORMATION
>> | h.nagy@semantic-web.at
>>
>> On 10.08.2010, at 19:51, Dan Brickley wrote:
>>
>>      
>>> On Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 7:00 PM, Bernard Vatant
>>> <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>  wrote:
>>>        
>>>> Welcome Antoine to the brainstorming
>>>>
>>>> Since the box is open, it's open :)
>>>>          
>>> :)
>>>
>>>        
>>>> I like standsFor, but my latin culture would prefer a latin term, so why not
>>>> "represents" or even simply "presents" [1]
>>>> Well, I know, I will have the same remarks as for "referent" or "refersTo"
>>>>          
>>> Thanks for saving me some typing ;)
>>>
>>>        
>>>> But I'm waiting for real good arguments against it. A concept is really a
>>>> way for a thing to be made præsens, in the various meanings of the word such
>>>> as "really there" and "efficient".
>>>>          
>>> RDF and OWL are themselves a representational system, as is [at
>>> another level] the Web itself. To use such a generic term, risks
>>> constant confusion.
>>>
>>> Another option discussed btw was 'about'; however both RDF/XML and
>>> RDFa syntax use that already
>>>
>>>        
>>>> See http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=praesens&la=la#lexicon
>>>> ... or for not-so-young frenchies remembering their humanities years, the
>>>> good old Gaffiot I just discovered on-line.
>>>> http://www.lexilogos.com/latin/gaffiot.php?p=1225
>>>>          
>>> I'll have a read!
>>>
>>> Dan
>>>
>>>        
>>>> Bernard
>>>>
>>>> [1] Since no presentation is really new, any presentation is a
>>>> representation (and vice-versa) See
>>>> http://blog.hubjects.com/2009/11/representation-as-translation.html
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> 2010/8/10 Antoine Isaac<aisaac@few.vu.nl>
>>>>          
>>>>> Hi Dan,
>>>>>
>>>>> I think I buy all the naming arguments below.
>>>>> But since the Pandora box is re-opened, even though with strong warnings,
>>>>> I'll have one try :-)
>>>>> How about standsFor? You're using it yourself in the announcement, in
>>>>> fact...
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Otherwise:
>>>>>            
>>>>>> (aside: a possibility here might be to declare foaf:focus a sub
>>>>>> property of inverse of dcterms:isReferencedBy)
>>>>>>              
>>>>> I'm not sure we should go that way: DC's property seems very
>>>>> bibliography-style citation-oriented...
>>>>>
>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>>
>>>>> Antoine
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>>> +cc: Leigh
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 3:26 PM, Simon Spero<ses@unc.edu>    wrote:
>>>>>>              
>>>>>>> Dan-
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> can i suggest using a different word  than focus, as this is term of art
>>>>>>> in
>>>>>>> controlled vocabularies. It is used when referring to
>>>>>>> modified/specialized
>>>>>>> "terms".
>>>>>>>                
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Thanks for the feedback. It seems that words are like Internet domain
>>>>>> names; all the good ones are taken!
>>>>>>
>>>>>> To understand the extent of the "it's already in use" problem, could I
>>>>>> ask you to post a few sentences using 'focus' from the literature?
>>>>>> Even one would help.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Naming RDF terms is something of a nightmare, because RDF is designed
>>>>>> to allow information to flow beyond its original comfort-zone;
>>>>>> whatever we choose here will show up in all kinds of unexpected
>>>>>> contexts, including the Web pages of various publishers.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I originally liked the 'skos:it' (and skos:as inverse) since 'it' had
>>>>>> the charm of being at least easy to spell and quick to type. However
>>>>>> after bouncing 'it' around in discussions 'it' transpired that 'it'
>>>>>> was a bit too clever for 'its' own good, as a name. The 'focus' name
>>>>>> came from discussions with Leigh Dodds, who I Cc: here. Some of our
>>>>>> notes are in http://wiki.foaf-project.org/w/term_focus (btw each FOAF
>>>>>> term now has a Wiki page for annotations).
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>>>>> Possible labels that might work could be  isReferredToBy ; SKOS concepts
>>>>>>> are
>>>>>>> intentional-with-a-t, so reference is a natural label;
>>>>>>> isFoafProxyForIntentionReferencedBySKOSConcept is awful ComputerDeutch.
>>>>>>>                
>>>>>> So I see the logic behind 'isReferredToBy', however I'm cautious for a
>>>>>> few reasons. Firstly the inverse direction adds a level of confusion,
>>>>>> so we'd want to have 'references', eg. "skos_3 :references thing_23".
>>>>>> And since we're operating in the context of RDF, not to mention
>>>>>> hypertext, there are plenty of other contexts in which 'references'
>>>>>> gets used - mainly with documents. Which puts us in the awkward
>>>>>> situation of deciding whether to re-use an existing more general
>>>>>> purpose term that talks about reference; eg.
>>>>>> http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/ has
>>>>>> http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/#terms-isReferencedBy
>>>>>> already --- "A related resource that references, cites, or otherwise
>>>>>> points to the described resource."  ... or if we proceed with a term
>>>>>> that is explicitly for use with skos:Concept, we should expect to see
>>>>>> it accidentally misused by anyone who is fumbling around looking for a
>>>>>> nice term to use when one thing references, mentions, or identifies
>>>>>> another thing.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> (aside: a possibility here might be to declare foaf:focus a sub
>>>>>> property of inverse of dcterms:isReferencedBy)
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>>>>> Foaf person "Paul The Octopus" isReferredTo by SKOS Concept "#PTO1".
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Where "#PTO1" isSubjectOf "#document" "Decideabity and tractablity of
>>>>>>> logical inference with binary serial octacles".
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> (The halting problem has time complexity PTO(1) but other tasks may
>>>>>>> require
>>>>>>> an infinite series of questions.)
>>>>>>>                
>>>>>> Saying that the concept *references* the real world entity seems a
>>>>>> tiny bit strong anyway; I guess I'd say 'reference' with regard to the
>>>>>> concept's documentation, or with regard to a use of the concept in
>>>>>> some document. But at some level this is all metaphor anyhow; nothing
>>>>>> is really 'focussing' either. I had hoped 'focus' was a word that came
>>>>>> with relatively little baggage in this community and amongst Web
>>>>>> technologists, since 'topic' and 'subject' are already heavily
>>>>>> over-used.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I think 'references' will prove too general/broad to use directly
>>>>>> (people will immediately start applying it with document 'mentions'
>>>>>> and hyperlinks), but I appreciate the feedback and suggestion. Same
>>>>>> with Bernard's 'referent', even though yes the basic idea is that the
>>>>>> concepts are proxying / standing in for / indirectly identifying /
>>>>>> referring to some real world entities.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> cheers,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Dan
>>>>>>
>>>>>> ps. Another terminology possible ingredient; in FOAF we have a
>>>>>> property foaf:primaryTopic which points from a document to the thing
>>>>>> the document is primarily about. It has an inverse, isPrimaryTopicOf
>>>>>> too.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>              
>>>>>
>>>>>            
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Bernard Vatant
>>>> Senior Consultant
>>>> Vocabulary&  Data Engineering
>>>> Tel:       +33 (0) 971 488 459
>>>> Mail:     bernard.vatant@mondeca.com
>>>> ----------------------------------------------------
>>>> Mondeca
>>>> 3, cité Nollez 75018 Paris France
>>>> Web:    http://www.mondeca.com
>>>> Blog:    http://mondeca.wordpress.com
>>>> ----------------------------------------------------
>>>>
>>>>          
>>>        
>>
>>
>>      
>
>
>    
Received on Wednesday, 11 August 2010 17:27:51 GMT

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