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Re: FW: Major change to a SIOC term: User is now called UserAccount

From: Simon Reinhardt <simon.reinhardt@koeln.de>
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2010 22:40:21 +0200
Message-ID: <4BB261B5.2030100@koeln.de>
To: Michael F Uschold <uschold@gmail.com>
CC: "Breslin, John" <john.breslin@nuigalway.ie>, semantic-web@w3.org, deri.ie-all@lists.deri.org, public-rdfa@w3.org, semanticweb@yahoogroups.com
Hello Michael

Michael F Uschold wrote:
> This has a knockon effect, which could create new confusion.
> 
> Now the creator of a message is a UserAccount.  But this is not 
> sensible. Accounts do not create messages, User's create messages. A 
> User has a relationship with an account, e.g. AccountHolder.
> 
> There may be confusion between DC-Creator whose domain presumably does 
> not include Accounts.

I don't see a problem here. An account is just an entity of managing things, a sort of proxy through which actions like creations are seen. This works perfectly fine in the computer world, maybe not so much if you get more conceptual/philosophical. But I don't see a need to do that. You don't always know the person behind an account and it might even be shared by multiple persons.

Also note that this was a change in naming to clarify the intended meaning of the term. sioc:User has always been a sub-class of foaf:OnlineAccount and thus the meaning wasn't changed. It is sort of one of the basic assumptions of the SIOC model that it's perfectly ok for accounts to work as placeholders for actions and properties within community platforms. This is how those platforms are modelled anyway so they can be nicely described with SIOC rather than having to introduce extra indirection just for some philosophical reasons.

Another way to look at this is to see accounts as roles you can take on which are detached from your person. Or a bit more practical: imagine you have multiple accounts on a platform (one for acting as a user, one for administrating). Isn't it rather important under which account you did something?
In online games people sometimes create multiple accounts to gain advantages - how would you describe that you transferred game money from one of your accounts to another?
Or how would you model that various people use one administrator account? Who "created" that new user account? Surely whoever was logged in as the administrator at that point in time. But even if you knew who it was - if you attached that information to the person you loose information about which account was responsible for it.

I wouldn't necessarily say that dcterms:creator excludes that scenario. Its range is defined as dcterms:Agent which has the following definition:
  Definition: 	A resource that acts or has the power to act.
  Comment: 	Examples of Agent include person, organization, and software agent.

Regards,
  Simon
Received on Tuesday, 30 March 2010 20:41:08 GMT

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