W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lld@w3.org > March 2011

RE: FRBR and classes ('frbr:Works in the age of mechanical reproduction'...)

From: Karen Coyle <kcoyle@kcoyle.net>
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2011 09:17:58 -0700
Message-ID: <20110321091758.19406q2joq7qeuye@kcoyle.net>
To: "Tillett, Barbara" <btil@loc.gov>
Cc: 'William Waites' <ww@styx.org>, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, public-lld <public-lld@w3.org>, "Murray, Ronald" <rmur@loc.gov>
Quoting "Tillett, Barbara" <btil@loc.gov>:

> Thinking of FRBR as "over-engineered" perhaps mistakenly focuses on  
> casual readers and on inventory management issues.

Well, I don't think we can ignore "casual readers" -- they make up the  
majority of reading public. I realize they aren't LC's focus, but they  
are of great interest to publishers and sellers of books, music, and  
film. There is a huge amount of "bibliographic" data that serves that  
sector and its audience.

My concern, somewhat echoing William and Ross, is how FRBR will play  
well with others -- all of the bibliographic data that does not follow  
FRBR for its data model.... or that redefines FRBR in new and  
interesting ways (cf. Fabio, for citations, that subclasses books to  
Expression and includes ISBN as an expression property). I think that  
any model that we embrace today needs to include an analysis of how  
this data will interact in the open information environment. A view  
that is specific to library systems should recognize that the world  
outside of library systems is larger than the world inside. I'm fine  
with FRBR as a model for library cataloging, and perhaps for library  
discovery systems (still not sure what that will look like), but it is  
essential that we have a plan for how data coded as library FRBR will  
interact with, say, Wikipedia or Amazon data for the same things.


> If our *Cultural Heritage* mission (as opposed to a marketing,  
> entertainment, or advertisement mission) is to "collect the dots and  
> then connect the dots" through our resource descriptions, we require  
> the ability to create resource descriptions that serve the needs of   
> -> and incorporate the more sophisticated resource descriptions  
> created by <- scholarly and educational users.
> We should keep the above point focus, and recall that our main job  
> is user needs and not making IT people's jobs easier. IT is supposed  
> to respond to requirements and
> *not* assume that their limits and system predilections are ours.  
> RDF is primarily an IT-level invention that *assumes* things about  
> high-level resource description. We are demonstrating that some of  
> their assumptions are insufficient to what we can demonstrate to be  
> the case.
> Ron Murray (via Barbara Tillett)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-lld-request@w3.org [mailto:public-lld-request@w3.org]  
> On Behalf Of William Waites
> Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2011 12:51 PM
> To: Dan Brickley
> Cc: public-lld
> Subject: Re: FRBR and classes ('frbr:Works in the age of mechanical  
> reproduction'...)
> Dan, very much appreciate your thoughts. I have to say that in my  
> experience trying to describe books in RDF, and not being a  
> librarian, this seems the right approach.
> We tried using FRBR and basically found it over-engineered.
> Trying to make an application where people take books and annotate  
> them and organise them into reading lists and collections, FRBR just  
> introduces too much irrelevant abstraction and gets in the way. This  
> is why we use bibo, which has "book in the usual sense" and could be  
> understood in terms of what you have described with owl classes and  
> punning (if you imagine an implied :ficciones a owl:Class).
> I also agree with Karen that this is much closer conceptually to  
> MARC then WEMI. Perhaps that is as it should be. To me, again as a  
> non-librarian, the rules for when something is a new work or  
> expression or manifestation seem at best arbitrary or at worst  
> simply wrong on a philosophical or artistic level. MARC might be  
> ambiguous in some ways and libraries might have a bad habit of  
> shoehorning data into fields where it doesn't really belong but it  
> does make sense intuitively.
> So given that we have enormous amounts of data floating around in  
> MARC or similar related formats probably the most directly useful  
> thing that could be done with these data is to transform them into a  
> simple, relatively flat RDF format (not unlike bibo) without  
> introducing dubious abstraction. The data would then be directly  
> reuseable and could be understood "in the usual sense" (hand wave,  
> hand wave).
> Cheers,
> -w
> --
> William Waites                <mailto:ww@styx.org>
> http://river.styx.org/ww/        <sip:ww@styx.org>
> F4B3 39BF E775 CF42 0BAB  3DF0 BE40 A6DF B06F FD45

Karen Coyle
kcoyle@kcoyle.net http://kcoyle.net
ph: 1-510-540-7596
m: 1-510-435-8234
skype: kcoylenet
Received on Monday, 21 March 2011 16:18:39 UTC

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