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Re: stability of foaf:Organization

From: Dan Brickley <danbrickley@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 09:58:03 +0000
Message-ID: <a8d312c10702260157w265d5978obf1a7a9ef46f44d2@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Shadi Abou-Zahra" <shadi@w3.org>
Cc: "Phil Archer" <parcher@icra.org>, "Charles McCathieNevile" <chaals@opera.com>, foaf-dev@lists.foaf-project.org, public-wai-ert@w3.org, "Kjetil Kjernsmo" <kjetilk@opera.com>

OK, let's do this the simple way.

I believe, in practical terms, both these classes are stable, and that
the spec should be updated to reflect this.

The current spec description of Agent says:
Class: foaf:Agent
Agent - An agent (eg. person, group, software or physical artifact).
Status: 	unstable
in-range-of:	foaf:maker foaf:member
in-domain-of:	foaf:mbox foaf:mbox_sha1sum foaf:gender foaf:jabberID
foaf:aimChatID foaf:icqChatID foaf:yahooChatID foaf:msnChatID
foaf:weblog foaf:tipjar foaf:made foaf:holdsAccount foaf:birthday

The foaf:Agent class is the class of agents; things that do stuff. A
well known sub-class is foaf:Person, representing people. Other kinds
of agents include foaf:Organization and foaf:Group.

The foaf:Agent class is useful in a few places in FOAF where
foaf:Person would have been overly specific. For example, the IM chat
ID properties such as jabberID are typically associated with people,
but sometimes belong to software bots.

Note that each term described in the FOAF spec has its formal aspects
(label, comment, range, domain details etc) as well as typically a few
sentences of accompanying XHTML. By declaring something "stable" we
are not freezing all of this in ice for eternity. But we do signal an
intent that any subsequent change to the class or property definitions
would have to be very well motivated, very widely aggreed, etc.

In the case of Agent, the more formal data is as follows:

  <rdfs:Class rdf:about="http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/Agent"
vs:term_status="unstable" rdfs:label="Agent" rdfs:comment="An agent
(eg. person, group, software or physical artifact).">
    <rdf:type rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#Class"/>
    <owl:disjointWith rdf:resource="http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/Document"/>

I am happy amending vs:term_status to "stable". The same with
Organization, see http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/#term_Organization

Class: foaf:Organization
Organization - An organization.
Status: 	unstable

The foaf:Organization class represents a kind of foaf:Agent
corresponding to social instititutions such as companies, societies

There is a "health warning" note on Organization, which I added in
recognition that there was apparent scope-overlap between Organization
and Group. It reads as follows:

This is a more 'solid' class than foaf:Group, which allows for more
ad-hoc collections of individuals. These terms are rather roughly
defined, and further work is needed to clearly specify their

I propose to integrate this into the description of Organization as follows:

Edit to say

"""This is a more 'solid' class than foaf:Group, which allows for more
ad-hoc collections of individuals. These terms, like the corresponding
natural language concepts, have some overlap, but different emphasis.

We can flesh this out in the wiki if needed. Both concepts are useful,
both have been used, and no huge problems emerged for us by having
both. So let's move things along...

One other point: in the RDFS, we use a version of Wordnet to annotate
the classes by reference to a class hierarchy derrived from natural
language. That particular namespace is currently offline, but will be
restored. I should also note that we can add in other such
relationships to classes (eg. to vcard work) at a later date. Being
"stable" shouldn't restrict us from the ability to clarify and improve
the description of how our terms relate to those used by others.
Rather, it is a way of stating that we think usage practices and
intended meaning have settled down...

So, in that light - if there are no objections posted as followups in
this thread, within a week, I'll go ahead and change the status of
Agent and Organization to "stable".



On 26/02/07, Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org> wrote:
> Hi Phil, Danbri,
> Both foaf:Agent [2] and foaf:Organization [3] are marked unstable in the
> currently published FOAF Vocabulary Specification. ERT WG is requesting
> the FOAF folks (Danbri et al) to change the formal status of these terms
> if they deem this appropriate. It would help us to normatively reference
> (and depend!) on these terms in the EARL 1.0 Schema:
>   - <http://www.w3.org/TR/EARL10-Schema/>
> [2] <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/#term_Agent>
> [3] <http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/#term_Organization>
> Regards,
>    Shadi
> Phil Archer wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Yes, I believe it is stable. It's a subclass of foaf:Agent which is
> > itself stable. Unless I hear screams to the contrary, I think
> > foaf:Organization will appear in the POWDER recs [1].
> >
> > Cheers
> >
> > Phil.
> >
> > [1] http://www.w3.org/2007/powder/
> >
> >
> > Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
> >> Hi,
> >>
> >> it seems that foaf:Organization is actually pretty stable. It has been
> >> around a long time, and we would like to recommend it (and foaf:Agent
> >> and foaf:Person) as a preferred term in EARL [1]. But it would be
> >> easier if it were formally marked as stable...
> >>
> >> any chance?
> >>
> >> cheers
> >>
> >> Chaals
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> --
> Shadi Abou-Zahra     Web Accessibility Specialist for Europe |
> Chair & Staff Contact for the Evaluation and Repair Tools WG |
> World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)           http://www.w3.org/ |
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Received on Monday, 26 February 2007 09:59:54 UTC

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