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

Re: Disjointedness of FRBR classes

From: Tom Baker <tbaker@tbaker.de>
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2011 19:57:09 -0400
To: Karen Coyle <kcoyle@kcoyle.net>
Cc: public-lld@w3.org
Message-ID: <20111023235709.GA14423@julius>
On Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 02:19:14PM -0700, Karen Coyle wrote:
> I have no idea the extent to which members of the IFLA FRBR review
> group understand the implications of a formal model with disjoint
> classes and properties assigned to them. 

That was indeed my question.

>                                          The RDA folks seem
> surprised when some of us demonstrate to them various ways that
> they've painted themselves into a corner. 

Officially?  Was there or will there be a public comment period for the RDF
expression?  That could perhaps help surface these issues.

>                                           This tells me that they
> simply do not understand the implication of formal models, and were
> assuming that you could "fudge" if you needed to. At the same time,
> they argue for precision and rigidity.

What is the actual rationale, or requirement, for precision?  If the answer has
to do with "quality control for cataloging", then perhaps there are other ways
to achieve this.

> (Note, there is a "FRBRer Open Model which is defined as "Based on
> the current text, Feb 2009. This element set contains properties
> from the FRBRer model, from which all property domains and ranges
> have been removed." This, however, is not being used as the basis
> for RDA and I don't know really if we know what IFLA intends by
> this. Again, there isn't any documentation that I can find that
> explains the registered vocabularies. Gordon possibly could tell
> us.)

I wonder if there is a middle position -- e.g., properties with domains and
ranges that are not disjoint with each other.  Have these questions been
discussed, and on a citable mailing list?

> The FRBR *documentation* (not a formal model) appears to be more
> lenient than this: it admits that some definitions, like the
> definition of Work, could be open to interpretation. RDA, however,
> has taken a very non-lenient view. There are no properties that are
> not assigned to one and only one FRBR entity, and any deviation from
> that is deemed "wrong."

Are there any definitions _not_ open to interpretation?  Semantic Web
colleagues I know who know something about FRBR tend to associate it with
lively discussions about interpretation.

> We keep going round and round on this, but I have the feeling we
> aren't talking to the right people. We really need to have this
> conversation with the IFLA and RDA development groups, rather than
> talking one-on-one. Some of us have been advocating this for a
> while, but the groups are reluctant. This is one of those areas that
> should come under: "Collaboration with the Semantic Web community."

Perhaps the RDF expressions could be put up for review, and the Semantic Web
community could be invited to have a look at them from a formal point of view.
I'd expect one would get ALOT of comments on the disjointness of those classes.

Does anyone know if the RDA properties have already started to be used in data?
Does the status "published" mean they are intended already to be used in
production data?  It sounds like there are still quite a few open issues to be


Tom Baker <tom@tombaker.org>
Received on Sunday, 23 October 2011 23:57:42 UTC

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