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Re: AW: SemWeb terminology page

From: Mark van Assem <mark@cs.vu.nl>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 14:47:14 +0100
Message-ID: <4CF50062.4010705@cs.vu.nl>
To: public-lld <public-lld@w3.org>

We from the DO cluster had another discussion about a terminology issue.

To reiterate, the issue is what term to apply to two groups of things

1) LCSH, AAT, WordNet and the like. These describe concepts that are 
used in actual medata.

2) FOAF, FRBR and the like. These describe what concrete metadata must 
look like; defines classes and properties, the instances of which are 
actual metadata, and in which concepts defined in 1 are used.

To resolve this we thought it's useful to define criteria:

a) the terminology should fit with our (main) public. This is probably 
library people, so how well it fits with the SemWeb folks is secondary.

b) because especially the word "vocabulary" is confusing, we should
either avoid "vocabulary" altogether or prepend it so as to distinguish 
the two e.g. "value vocabulary" and "metadata vocabulary"

c) given that people tend to abbreviate terms when they use them, the 
prepending approach may create the confusion we're trying to avoid.

d) if possible it is advantageous to not refer to how the groups are 
implemented, i.e. do not refer to RDF, XML or anything else. Definition 
through mentioning how it is implemented can be distracting.

I've collected all proposals and added a few more:

Suggested terms for group 1:
- vocabulary
- value vocabulary
- SKOS vocabulary
- domain vocabulary
- controlled list
- code list
- "thesauri, glossaries, classification schemes and other vocabularies"

Suggested terms for group 2:
- RDF vocabulary
- properties / property set
- Set of property and class terms
- metadata vocabulary
- data elements
- element vocabulary
- ontology
- conceptual model
- metadata element set
- metadata model
- metadata schema
- modelling schema


Mikael's suggestion of "value vocabulary" and "element vocabulary" is 
really good, but this does mean we'll have to be very careful in 
drafting our documents to meet criterium c, but this will not help 
people outside our documents. We have a chance here to think up 
something that will have a wider use than our documents.

If we ignore criterium d, then choosing "RDF vocabulary" for 2 seems 
obvious, but violates criterium c. Therefore something like
"conceptual model" or "ontology" for group 2 is better.

My personal favorites are:

1) value vocabulary - expresses that we're dealing with vocabulary 
concepts that are _used_ in actual metadata. Violates b/c though.

2) metadata model - expresses that these things determine how actual 
metadata can look like; more neutral term than "ontology" which library 
people may interpret as something different than a metamodel.

Opinions? If you argue pro/con particular terms it helps if you point 
out the principles/communities on which that preference is based.


On 11/11/2010 12:32, Antoine Isaac wrote:
> Point taken, Ed! I was trying to answer the initial email, but it is
> certainly wiser to think about the objective first...
> Antoine
>> I guess it gets back to what we are trying to do with this Semantic
>> Web Terminology Page [1]. If it really is a list of useful Semantic
>> Web and Linked Data terminology then assuming RDF doesn't seem like a
>> problem.
>> If the page is going to also include library terminology, and try to
>> relate library terminology to semantic web terminology I think we are
>> doing something different...and more difficult.
>> //Ed
>> [1] http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/wiki/Semantic_Web_terminology
>> On Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 4:10 AM, Antoine Isaac<aisaac@few.vu.nl> wrote:
>>> Well, it does avoid some hassles, but in fact it does not answer
>>> anymore the
>>> initial need, which was to find a label for:
>>> 1. things like FOAF, FRAD and other "metadata schemas"
>>> 2. things like AAT, LCSH, VIAF and other "value sets"/"vocabulary
>>> encoding
>>> schemes" (to take DC abstrac model terminology)
>>> For the first RDF vocabulary would be ok, except that they're not
>>> always in
>>> RDF (yet). Or would that idea for that category be "stuff that would be
>>> represented as RDF vocabularies"? It's alright with me, since we're a
>>> linked
>>> data-oriented group so can afford quite a biased view on the world ;-)
>>> For the second dataset indeed applies to them, but it is perhaps a
>>> bit too
>>> broad. RDF conversion of bibliographic catalogs would also be
>>> datasets. What
>>> we wanted to address was this set of reference values to be used for
>>> other
>>> datasets. Perhaps on linked data this distinction does not operate
>>> anymore,
>>> from a technical perspective. But it becomes difficult to explain to
>>> non-LD
>>> people then if we lose all anchoring to their world.
>>> Perhaps we should keep using a less elegant but quite explicit
>>> "authorities
>>> and KOS resources" as in the topic list [1]--I'd prefer "KOS" as a
>>> general
>>> umbrella, but I guess it can be confusing to others...
>>> Antoine
>>> [1]
>>> http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/lld/wiki/Topics#CM._Conceptual_Models_and_KOS
>>>> +1 - seems to avoid some hassles mentioned earlier.
>>>> Cheers, Joachim
>>>> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
>>>> Von: public-lld-request@w3.org [mailto:public-lld-request@w3.org] Im
>>>> Auftrag von Ed Summers
>>>> Gesendet: Mittwoch, 10. November 2010 22:51
>>>> An: public-lld
>>>> Betreff: Re: SemWeb terminology page
>>>> Personally, I like the term "RDF Vocabulary" to talk about RDF schemas
>>>> and OWL ontologies like FOAF, SKOS, DCTERMS, etc.
>>>> I tend to use "Dataset" from VoID [1] to refer to a bounded collection
>>>> of web resources e.g. id.loc.gov/authorities, viaf.org, etc.
>>>> I think one of the lessons from the DCAM is that we should limit the
>>>> amount of vocabulary we ourselves have to create to talk about things.
>>>> But that doesn't make for very lengthy dissertations though I guess
>>>> :-)
>>>> //Ed
>>>> [1] http://vocab.deri.ie/void/guide
Received on Tuesday, 30 November 2010 13:47:44 UTC

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