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Re: FAQ : Is this vocabulary currently curated?

From: Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 10:00:23 +0100
Message-ID: <CAK4ZFVGJgCKmVv=84aGFKhKOF8W2nfYziyRpeKDn2avEZOof_w@mail.gmail.com>
To: Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>
Cc: public-vocabs@w3.org
Hi Martin

Thanks for breaking the silence, even to say that I should not waste time
and energy on this :)

2011/11/21 Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>

> Hi Bernard:
>
> My position is that while such meta-data can be useful, it is not
> mission-critical, because it is uncertain whether a declarative approach is
> sufficient or appropriate in here.
>

Not sufficient certainly but useful nevertheless if it allows any potential
adopter to send a signal to the actual curator and get feedback. It's not
simply putting some declarative boolean (curated Y/N) in the vocabulary,
but ensure that if I have questions or suggestions about the vocabulary
evolution, there is a place I can send it and I'll get feedback.


> I would assume that in real, Web-scale scenarios, you need to derive the
> respective information from a multiplicity of signals, e.g.
>
> - adoption rate in data
>

Adoption rate is a signal that the vocabulary is useful, not that there is
still someone taking care of it. Take the example of
http://www.aktors.org/ontology/portal. This vocabulary is the kind of
"academic" ontology you like so much. The last publication date is 2003.
The documentation page indicated in dc:source and rdfs:seeAlso
http://d3e.open.ac.uk/akt/2002/ref-onto.html seems dead, making your point
that it has been developed in a research project and forgotten on a shelf.
It's used nevertheless in quite a few datasets. See
http://thedatahub.org/tag/format-akt. Of course you may argue that those
datasets have as little significance as the vocabularies they stand upon,
but ...

- HTTP header information
>

Not sure how HTTP information gives you clue about curation.


> etc.
>


> I would expect that most dead vocabularies on the Web, created in some PhD
> thesis project and long abandoned by its creator would still bear the
> "actively maintained" flag in the code.
>

Indeed, has 404 documentation as seen above. But not curated does not mean
"dead" if they are indeed used.


> Also, as of now, the number of relevant Web ontologies is pretty small,


I'm no-one to decide if an ontology is "relevant" or not. You seem to know
best and have decide that anything coming out of a PhD thesis is
irrelevant. All users of the "aktors" ontology above have found it useful
at some point, I'm no one to judge if they were right to do so or not.


> so it is unclear whether an automated approach is cost-efficient.
>

I don't know what you mean by that.


> As a general direction, I think the Semantic Web movement must focus on
> real engineering than "meta" issues - more good, well-maintained and
> documented ontologies


Maintained and documented = curated. Exactly my point. And part of the
documentation is who is maintaining, and who should I contact to know more
about it and confirm my trust. This does not necessarily means having the
maintainer showing off in a
this-is-the-only-useful-ontology-on-the-web-and-I-prove-it-daily style.


> than new methodologies for developing ontologies, or methodologies for
> developing methodologies for developing methodologies for developing
> methodologies for developing ontologies.


The point is not "developing" ontologies, but documenting them.


> The proof of the pudding is in the cooking ;-)
>
> Just my 2 cents ;-)
>

Thanks for your precious time :)

Bernard


>  On Nov 21, 2011, at 3:11 PM, Bernard Vatant wrote:
>
> > [Answering to myself default of any better interlocutor here]
> >
> > This has been posted almost one month ago now and had triggered
> absolutely no follow-up either on-list or off-list, either for the generic
> question or for a particular vocabulary. I posted it on Google+, pushing it
> specifically to a circle of people I had identified as vocabulary creators
> or contributors, with identical feedback : none whatsoever.
> >
> > I find this silence definitely puzzling. Does it mean that indeed nobody
> cares about this? Is the issue ill-defined? Or what?
> >
> > Bernard
> >
> > 2011/10/24 Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
> > Hi all
> >
> > After more than six months of work at Linked Open Vocabularies (LOV)
> [1], I would like to start a discussion about a certain number of
>  desirable metadata currently lacking in vocabularies description.
> > Basically, in the best of cases as it stands, the vocabulary metadata
> includes in the owl:Ontology description a couple of dcterms properties
> such as dcterms:created, dcterms:modified, dcterms:creator,
> dcterms:contributor, dcterms:publisher. Those properties are not always
> explicit in the RDF specification of the vocabulary, but can often be
> extracted from the html documentation.
> >
> > Useful as they are, those metadata do not help to answer some critical
> questions for a potential user  :
> >
> > Is this vocabulary currently curated?
> > Is it stable, or is it likely to change in the future?
> > How could I know when changes occur, and what those changes are? is
> there a track of older versions?
> > ... and if the above questions are not explicitly answered in metadata,
> whom should I contact to know more about it, or nobody is in charge any
> more?
> >
> > The question comes up particularly when the vocabulary has been sitting
> on the Web for quite a few years. Some vocabularies listed in LOV have a
> dcterms:modified value tracking back to 2003, meaning basically that
> nothing happened since. This can be interpreted either as good news
> (stability) or bad news (no more evolution/curation). In such cases,
> whatever the quality of the vocabulary, a potential adopter is bound to
> think that this vocabulary has been put on a shelf somewhere, and somehow
> forgotten by its initial publishers. A supposition that turns out to be
> true when the vocabulary is a by-product of a project long ago wrapped up.
> Sometimes a potential curator has not even the access to the vocabulary
> namespace and would not be able to update, modify, fix the vocabulary
> whatsoever.
> >
> > Curiously enough, unless I miss something, I could not find in all
> metadata vocabularies gathered in LOV any dedicated properties such as
> "status", "current curator" or "last known curator", so I think about
> adding such properties to VOAF [2]
> > Meanwhile, if you are the current curator of one or more of the
> vocabularies listed at [1], and particularly if the said vocabulariy lacks
> metadata, or you know more about its current status, feel free to ping me
> here or off-list so that a short sentence about the vocabulary status can
> at least be added in the description, and that we can think about the best
> way to represent it as structured metadata.
> >
> > Thanks for your attention
> >
> > [1] http://labs.mondeca.com/dataset/lov/
> > [2] http://labs.mondeca.com/vocab/voaf
> >
> >
> >
> > Bernard Vatant
> > Vocabularies & Data Engineering
> > Tel :  + 33 (0)9 71 48 84 59
> > Skype : bernard.vatant
> >
>
>


-- 
*Bernard Vatant
*
Vocabularies & Data Engineering
Tel :  + 33 (0)9 71 48 84 59
Skype : bernard.vatant
Linked Open Vocabularies <http://labs.mondeca.com/dataset/lov>

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Received on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 09:01:18 GMT

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