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DCMI Metadata Terms "historical record" in RDF(a)?

From: Thomas Baker <tom@tombaker.org>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2012 15:40:22 -0400
To: public-rdfa <public-rdfa@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20120511194022.GA27821@julius>
Dear all,

A bit of an aside...

I'd be interested to hear any views on whether it makes sense to try to express
the "historical record" of DCMI Metadata Terms [1] -- term-by-term snapshots of
information about properties and classes as Comments or Definitions were
tweaked, domains or ranges were added, URLs to external documents were updated,
etc -- in RDF(a).

For example, the "Bibliographic Citation" was issued on 2003-02-15 as an
"element refinement" [1].  On 2008-01-14, it was modified with a tightened
usage comment, a formal domain of dcterms:BibliographicResource and range of
rdfs:Literal, and explicitly declared to be of type "property". (The RDF schema
had been saying that for years, but the user-facing documentation had until
then used legacy terminology for "term types", such as "element refinement".)

I made up this snapshot system for individual term descriptions about ten years
ago on the model used to version DCMI documents, which was itself modeled on
the W3C method of versioning documents.  I have often wondered whether this
method is the right one (or at least "good enough"), and how one might express
this information in RDF (and for what purposes).

I do think it would be counterproductive to generate this document with RDFa
for each separate historical version of a term.  Simply expressing all of this
historical information in RDF statements the status of which would depend on
the meaning of "replaces" does not seem useful.  Hence my recommendation that
we simply exclude this document from the process of embedding RDFa and continue
to serve it up as an ordinary, flat Web page, as now.

I would, however, be interested to hear ideas on how the historical data might
eventually be put into a more useful form.

Tom

[1] http://dublincore.org/usage/terms/history/
[2] http://dublincore.org/usage/terms/history/#bibliographicCitation-001
[3] http://dublincore.org/usage/terms/history/#bibliographicCitation-002

-- 
Tom Baker <tom@tombaker.org>
Received on Friday, 11 May 2012 19:40:54 GMT

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