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Re: Request for feedback on SKOS Last Call Working Draft

From: Antoine Isaac <aisaac@few.vu.nl>
Date: Sat, 07 Mar 2009 15:11:47 +0100
Message-ID: <49B280A3.10306@few.vu.nl>
To: "Phillips, Addison" <addison@amazon.com>
CC: Alistair Miles <alistair.miles@zoo.ox.ac.uk>, "Ralph R. Swick" <swick@w3.org>, Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>, "public-swd-wg@w3.org" <public-swd-wg@w3.org>, "public-i18n-core@w3.org" <public-i18n-core@w3.org>, 'Felix Sasaki' <fsasaki@w3.org>
Hi Addison,

To clarify my previous mail. Your point makes much sense to me, but I don't think we should add this in the SKOS documents (that's true for the Reference, and even more true for the Primer).
These matters are indeed quite complex, especially for "normal" RDF users who are not aware of these things. Furthermore, they are not really specific to SKOS, but to every data representation means which use language tags. And they are more related to the way one consumes data than to the way it is represented and exchanged, which I feel is the core business of SKOS.

Note that this position is just my own, I'm not speaking for the SWD WG here.



> Hi Addison,
> It makes sense!
> Antoine
>> Hi Antoine,
>> Yes, as I said the SKOS model is technically correct, accurate, and 
>> complete. The issue is what users and implementations do with it. I 
>> think the main concern I have is that SKOS Reference makes quite clear 
>> that you can have multiple labels with related-but-not-identical 
>> language tags. It is just that, having gone out of its way to say that 
>> 'en' != 'en-US', it doesn't further clarify that the presence of an 
>> 'en' tag is allowed imply a match with e.g. 'en-AU' or 'en-NZ', if the 
>> latter are not provided as distinct labels.
>> Does that make sense?
>> Addison
>> Addison Phillips
>> Globalization Architect -- Lab126
>> Internationalization is not a feature.
>> It is an architecture.
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Antoine Isaac [mailto:aisaac@few.vu.nl]
>>> Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 10:00 AM
>>> To: Phillips, Addison
>>> Cc: Alistair Miles; Ralph R. Swick; Richard Ishida; public-swd-
>>> wg@w3.org; public-i18n-core@w3.org; 'Felix Sasaki'
>>> Subject: Re: Request for feedback on SKOS Last Call Working Draft
>>> Hi Addison,
>>> Thanks for the explanation, which makes a bit clear what I had
>>> understood from [1]:
>>> "Matching different language tags is important for a number of
>>> applications. According to BCP 47 'en' can be said to match 'en-
>>> GB'."
>>> If I understand well, there are applications that could do this
>>> filtering, and if they use data which was not intended for
>>> filtering (that is, data including language tag variation, because
>>> their original context of application was concerned with that),
>>> then there could be trouble.
>>> But maybe this is not so much trouble in fact: that kind of
>>> matching does not amount to producing new RDF data (in your example,
>>> a new triple ex:walkingPath skos:prefLabel "sidewalk"@en. ), does
>>> it?
>>> If the data stays the same, and if as you say it is technically
>>> valid, then there is no possible inconsistency with what the SKOS
>>> model specifies.
>>> Best,
>>> Antoine
>>> [1] http://www.w3.org/International/articles/language-tags/
>>>> Hello Alistair,
>>>> Thanks for the note back.
>>>> I'm aware of the SPARQL function: I helped the WG craft the text
>>> about it. The query function might turn out to be a problem and I
>>> may not have given the right feedback in my last email. Let me
>>> explain.
>>>> My concern is that, if you have a triple like:
>>>> ex:walkingPath rdf:type skos:Concept;
>>>>   skos:prefLabel "sidewalk"@en-US;
>>>>   skos:prefLabel "pavement"@en
>>>> ... then SKOS rightly asserts that "en" and "en-US" are different
>>> languages exclusive of one another. This implies that one must
>>> include a separate prefLabel for every possible language tag
>>> variation one wishes to support. This is not generally the
>>> intention when applying language tags.
>>>> So my example doesn't say whether the label for "en" covers a
>>> user who speaks "en-GB" or "en-AU" or "en-NZ" (for example). Those
>>> are all different languages not specified. Typically, a request for
>>> the label from the SKOS description of an ontology will contain the
>>> user's fully qualified language preference--that is, they are
>>> specifying the MOST information that they care to provide about
>>> their language. The matching scheme in RFC 4647 for that is called
>>> "lookup" and it falls back (a request for "en-GB" in my example
>>> would find "pavement", labeled as "en"). That is, a SKOS file
>>> contains what we I18N folks would call a "resource bundle" or
>>> "message catalog".
>>>> In any case, SKOS is technically correct, but I think my advice
>>> would be to add some note clarifying that a natural language label
>>> defined in SKOS should be considered to apply to any request not
>>> masked by some other label. It is possible but very difficult to
>>> construct using SPARQL langMatches, whose purpose is actually
>>> different.
>>>> So I guess I'd request notes in the Reference and Primer
>>> clarifying that, although (for example) "en" and "en-US" are
>>> considered to be different, one may consider a shorter language tag
>>> that is a "prefix" (by language tag standards) to match a longer
>>> "language range" in a request. That is, you don't need to supply
>>> "en-AU" if it is not different from "en".
>>>> Regards,
>>>> Addison
>>>> Addison Phillips
>>>> Globalization Architect -- Lab126
>>>> Internationalization is not a feature.
>>>> It is an architecture.
Received on Saturday, 7 March 2009 14:12:26 UTC

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