W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-vocabs@w3.org > April 2012

Schema.org External Enumerations mechanism

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 20:30:40 +0200
Message-ID: <CAFfrAFrWWzxbS9yw1c8E31sk2T2EQBYReV5JT6_dRXL8HMROaw@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-vocabs@w3.org
There is a near-final draft in the Wiki at
http://www.w3.org/wiki/WebSchemas/ExternalEnumerations describing a
mechanism for including externally enumerated datasets within

The approach we adopt tries to find a middle-ground between some
design constraints. We want a simple, regular notation for schema.org
publishers, while also drawing on various rich and detailed
collections of identifiers found 'out there' in the decentralized Web.
At schema.org we will maintain a list of supported datasets /
vocabularies, and we'll configure URIs at ext.schema.org to correspond
to entries in a variety of systems (e.g. Wikipedia/Wikidata, UDC,
LCSH, UN FAO country codes, ...). Although individual search engines
may decide to consume other patterns, at this stage the only
collective commitment expected is that URLs matching
http://ext.schema.org/* will be recognised as belonging to "external
enumerations" that extend and enrich schema.org.

The expectation is that this will improve schema.org's expressive
coverage without bloating the core schema. If you look at our current
schema, you'll see for example 27 or so subclasses of
http://schema.org/LocalBusiness ... quite a list, and yet not enough
to exhaustively cover things. Or http://schema.org/PlaceOfWorship
which has six subtypes listing specific kinds of places of worship.
The schema.org partners (or the W3C Web Schemas group) aren't the
right people to come up with detailed lists of such things - it would
be a neverending task. Rather, we need a mechanism that integrates
such detail into the existing descriptive machinery provided by the
core schema.org schema. To address this, schema.org external
enumerations mechanism should be able to supply both property values
and sub-types; we'll elaborate on Units and Measures in a later

Questions and comments to this list please,


Received on Thursday, 19 April 2012 18:31:10 UTC

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