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http://schema.org/Offer: a broader definition

From: Dan Scott <dan@coffeecode.net>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 10:57:33 -0400
To: public-vocabs@w3.org
Message-ID: <20130808145705.GA6467@denials>

http://www.heppnetz.de/ontologies/goodrelations/v1.html#conceptual_overview
defines the "promise" (offer) entity as:

"""
A promise (offer) to transfer some rights (ownership, temporary usage, a
certain license, ...) on the object or to provide the service for a
certain compensation (e.g. an amount of money), made by the agent and
related to the object or service.
"""

http://schema.org/Offer uses a more concise, but narrower, definition:

"""
An offer to sell an item—for example, an offer to sell a product, the
DVD of a movie, or tickets to an event.
"""

The use of the word "sell" is where the definition gets too narrow, in
my opinion, in that the definition of "sell" typically involves an
exchange of money. I do recognize that the businessFunction property
allows for a broader range of options via the BusinessFunction
enumeration, such as LeaseOut or Rental, however I'm currently having
trouble convincing some of my peers that Offer is the right type to use
purely because of the use of the word "sell" in the core definition.

Context: Organizations may wish to express Offers that are
not purely sales-oriented. For example, an academic library offers
services and loans resources to members of its academic community; a
community centre may offer tickets to an event on a first-come,
first-served basis; and free-cycling sites offer items for absolutely
no compensation (well, perhaps with an implicit promise that you won't
return the item - heh!)

Therefore, I suggest schema.org adapt the definition to reflect the
broader definition of the Good Relations "promise" as follows (while
also expressing a broader range of business functions than "sell" in the
examples):

"""
An offer to transfer some rights to an item or to provide a service--for
example, an offer to sell tickets to an event, to rent the DVD of a
movie, to repair a motorcycle, or to loan a book.
"""

I believe this maintains the plain English definition that was adopted
for schema.org while expressing the broader sense of Offer that was
intended by Good Relations, and I think it would help with the adoption
of Offer for others who might stumble over the rather commercial
orientation of the current definition.
Received on Thursday, 8 August 2013 14:58:06 UTC

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