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RE: [PORT] including conversion methodology in proposed notes?

From: Miles, AJ (Alistair) <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2004 15:27:29 +0100
Message-ID: <350DC7048372D31197F200902773DF4C05E50B72@exchange11.rl.ac.uk>
To: 'Guus Schreiber' <schreiber@cs.vu.nl>
Cc: public-swbp-wg@w3.org

Hi Guus, 

I was very impressed by the conversion methodology in the Amsterdam paper
[1], and think it is ideal for dealing with things like MeSH and Wordnet.  

However I do have some reservations about this methodology when working with
the average thesaurus (which is structurally quite close to the ISO2788
standard) ...

1. In my experience most thesaurus users and administrators have barely even
heard of RDF or the semantic web, and are only just getting to grips with
XML.  The methodology in [1] requires a fairly intimate understanding of
RDF.  Its elegance will be completely lost on 99% of readers.  Also I think
our first motivation should be to 'get people through the door'.  If this is
the first thing they read in the shop window, they'll go someplace else
because it takes too much effort to understand it. 

2. The thesaurus community currently has no widely adopted machine readable
representation format.  There is a void there.  By making the SKOS Core RDF
representation as accessible as possible, we can fill that void.  SKOS Core
can be sold to the thesaurus community as a simple representation format,
without really needing to explain the extra cool stuff they can do by being
a part of the semantic web (although that is always there as extra
incentive).  We publish more in depth documentation to cope with the
complexity (and opportunity) that comes along with the semantic web only
later, after the 'boat has sailed'. 

I guess I could paraphrase all this by saying 'let's keep things as simple
as humanly possible,' and 'take one step at a time.'  

I strongly suggest that the proposed 'Guide to Using SKOS Core for Thesauri'
note be aimed at an audience with little or no understanding of RDF.  So I
do think there could be a place for a 'conversion methodology' section in
that note, but we would have to think very carefully about what to put in
it, i.e. how to keep it accessible.

Yours,

Alistair.

---
Alistair Miles
Research Associate
CCLRC - Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Building R1 Room 1.60
Fermi Avenue
Chilton
Didcot
Oxfordshire OX11 0QX
United Kingdom
Email:        a.j.miles@rl.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1235 445440



> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org
> [mailto:public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Guus Schreiber
> Sent: 03 August 2004 15:18
> To: Miles, AJ (Alistair) 
> Cc: public-swbp-wg@w3.org
> Subject: Re: [ALL] proposed agenda 22 July telecon
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Miles, AJ (Alistair) wrote:
> 
> > Hi Dan, all,
> > 
> > Unfortunately I have to send regrets for the telecon today, 
> but I look
> > forward to the WG either accepting the plan for the 
> PORT/THES TF [1] or
> > expressing any objections so we can get a revised plan 
> accepted as soon as
> > possible.  
> > 
> > Thanks David for your comments, and welcome too! 
> > 
> > In a nutshell, what I'm hoping for is to be able to launch 
> 'SKOS-Core phase
> > 2 development' as soon as possible, with the full backing 
> and involvement of
> > this WG, then a furious couple of months of raising issues 
> and trying to
> > solve them, culminating in a couple of notes. 
> > 
> > With regards to the papers from Amsterdam [2] and Maryland 
> [3] on thesauri
> > and semweb, I would definitely like to draw on this work 
> and think it is
> > extremely valuable, but I'm not sure exactly how to fit it 
> in initially,
> > primarily because it deals with 'thesauri' that are not particularly
> > 'thesaurus-like' (NCI and MeSH are semi-ontologies, and 
> Wordnet is Wordnet).
> 
> I suggest to use just the method part of the Amsterdam paper. The 
> transformation steps (1a 1b 2a 2b are not specific for the 
> examples. As 
> a methodology veteran I think such pragmatic process support 
> is useful 
> for developers.
> 
> Guus
> 
> > 
> > 
> > Perhaps the proposed 'Guide to Using SKOS-Core for 
> Thesauri' note could be
> > divided into a 'Quick Start' section and an 'Advanced 
> Features' section ...
> > with some parts of the 'Advanced Features' section inspired 
> by the Amsterdam
> > and Maryland work?  
> > 
> > Just as a thought for the longer-term ... with things like 
> Mesh and NCI, we
> > get into the hazy world of the relationship between 
> thesauri and ontologies,
> > modelling in RDF things that are half-way in between, and 
> also the issue of
> > migrating thesauri to ontologies - areas that probably 
> deserve special
> > attention (and their own note(s)?)  
> > 
> > But I feel like there are lots of basic problems for us to 
> solve first -
> > like a well-documented RDF schema that can cope with all 
> the common features
> > of the more standard thesauri.  
> > 
> > Anyway, I look forward to the outcome of today's telecon.
> > 
> > Yours,
> > 
> > Alistair.
> >   
> > 
> > [1] 
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-swbp-wg/2004Jul/0068.html
> > [2] http://www.cs.vu.nl/~guus/papers/Assem04.pdf
> > [3] http://www.mindswap.org/papers/WebSemantics-NCI.pdf
> > 
> > 
> >>-----Original Message-----
> >>From: public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org
> >>[mailto:public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Dan Brickley
> >>Sent: 22 July 2004 12:15
> >>To: Ralph R. Swick
> >>Cc: public-swbp-wg@w3.org
> >>Subject: Re: [ALL] proposed agenda 22 July telecon
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>* Ralph R. Swick <swick@w3.org> [2004-07-21 21:25-0400]
> >>
> >>
> >>>6. TF UPDATES (5-15 min each)
> >>>
> >>>6.1 OEP (Deb)
> >>>
> >>>6.2 PORT (DanBri)
> >>>
> >>>   FW: [PORT/THES] Concrete actions
> >>>   From: Miles, AJ (Alistair) <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk>
> >>>   Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 17:26:13 +0100
> >>>   
> >>
> >>http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-swbp-wg/2004Jul/0068.html
> >>
> >>I agree with David [1] (welcome, David!) that Alistair's  
> >>plan of 9 July 
> >>looks good. I've seen no objections, and would like to confirm our 
> >>support of the plan during this call. Although as I write 
> the telecon
> >>looms, the action plan has been before the group for over a 
> >>week now, so
> >>I don't believe it would be premature to ask the WG to agree to it. 
> >>
> >>I propose a couple of explicit amendments which I guess would 
> >>be covered
> >>anyway, but I'd like to get them recorded. Basically I am happy
> >>adopting the SKOS proposals as our strawman starting point, 
> but would
> >>like to make sure the comments/papers from Mindlab and 
> >>Amsterdam (sorry
> >>for the vague references; couldn't find URLs, digging...) get 
> >>addressed.
> >>
> >>I am also happy using public-esw-thes@w3.org as the main list for
> >>working out the details for the thesaurus vocab, so long as this WGs
> >>list gets regular updates and we subscribe all interested WG members
> >>(ie. TF members) to that list. I'd be happy to handle 
> >>practicalities of
> >>that. We should be able to decide the mailing list question 
> separately
> >>to the question of adopting Alistair's workplan. If anyone 
> objects to
> >>doing the bulk of the PORT/THES vocab design on 
> >>public-esw-thes (a list
> >>populated with thesaurus experts collaborating around 
> SKOS), now would
> >>be a good time to note your preference.
> >>
> >>So when we get to the PORT/THES portion of the agenda, I 
> >>would like to 
> >>ask that we adopt
> >>http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-swbp-wg/2004Jul/0068.html
> >>as our plan for progressing this taskforce, or record and 
> act upon any
> >>objections raised during the telecon. If we do this, it should be
> >>possible to get moving towards Working Draft publication through the
> >>summer.
> >>
> >>How does that sound, folks?
> >>
> >>Dan 
> >>
> >>
> >>[1] 
> >>http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-swbp-wg/2004Jul/0079.html
> >>
> > 
> > 
> 
> -- 
> Free University Amsterdam, Computer Science
> De Boelelaan 1081a, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
> Tel: +31 20 444 7739/7718
> E-mail: schreiber@cs.vu.nl
> Home page: http://www.cs.vu.nl/~guus/
> 
Received on Wednesday, 4 August 2004 10:28:02 UTC

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