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RE: Survey paper

From: Simon Cox <simon.cox@jrc.ec.europa.eu>
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2009 17:41:27 +0200
To: "'Cory Henson'" <coryhenson@gmail.com>
Cc: <Laurent.Lefort@csiro.au>, <Michael.Compton@csiro.au>, <public-xg-ssn@w3.org>
Message-ID: <231FAB738312462AB555597C3D3F0DED@H07.jrc.it>
(1) If the point is to illustrate use of xlink for annotations, then you
need to make sure that the example really does use xlink for this purpose. 
I'm not convinced that authorized GML xlink:*href* usage does this. 
 
xlink:role and xlink:arcrole might be OK, but there are very few examples in
real-life (see
https://www.seegrid.csiro.au/twiki/bin/view/AppSchemas/ObservationsAndSampli
ng#Unknown_features for a pattern that has been used in the geoscience
community). 
 
(2) As mentioned in my PS below, XLink has barely been implemented. 
So XLink semantics are essentially bound to to the small number of contexts
where it has actually been used. 
RDDL and GML could be the most significant users (and yes, folks, GML is now
seeing significant deployment, particularly under the auspices of
GeoSciML/oneGeology and INSPIRE) so my story could be as good as it gets ...

 
Simon
 
 

Simon Cox

European Commission, Joint Research Centre, 
Institute for Environment and Sustainability, 
Spatial Data Infrastructures Unit, TP 262 
Via E. Fermi, 2749, I-21027 Ispra (VA), Italy 
Tel: +39 0332 78 3652
Fax: +39 0332 78 6325
 <mailto:simon.cox@jrc.ec.europa.eu> mailto:simon.cox@jrc.ec.europa.eu 
 <http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/simon-cox>
http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/simon-cox 

SDI Unit:  <http://sdi.jrc.ec.europa.eu/> http://sdi.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ 
IES Institute:  <http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/> http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/
JRC: http://www.jrc.ec.europa.eu/

 

  _____  

From: public-xg-ssn-request@w3.org [mailto:public-xg-ssn-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Cory Henson
Sent: Thursday, 13 August 2009 17:28
To: Simon Cox
Cc: Laurent.Lefort@csiro.au; Michael.Compton@csiro.au; public-xg-ssn@w3.org
Subject: Re: Survey paper


I think this is a good discussion that we should continue, but as far as the
survey paper is concerned there are two questions. (1) Should this be
included as an annotation technique? There seems to be several groups using
xlink as a 'model reference to an ontological description,' including also
MMI/OOTethis (whether this is right or wrong, and these were discussed in
ssn-xg meeting).  And second, (2) does XLink have a predefined translation
to RDF (in rough equivalence to RDFa)?  And be aware we only have one page
for this topic in the survey.

thanks,
-Cory


On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 11:00 AM, Simon Cox <simon.cox@jrc.ec.europa.eu>
wrote:


PS - the whole xlink (and also xpointer) story is rather sad. 
Going back to the dawn of XML (1997 or thereabouts in public forums) the XML
spec was supposed to have three legs:
XML Syntax
XML Linking
XML Transformations. 
 
Xlink was the last to emerage, and has barely been implemented anywhere. 
Which is a shame because linking is the basis of the web. 
And in the absence of a consensus on linking semantics, we are still having
discussion like this. 
 
Similarly xpointer - it is supposed to augment URI syntax by allowing XPath
expressions to point to fragments of resources - with a special escape
clause for # pointers which have gone by various names. 
 
We were perhaps over-eager/premature to adopt these technologies in the GML
spec (Laurent's EXAMPLE 3 below was my attempt to use the current state of
the confusing xpointer documentation). But the defense is that if we had not
adopted these external specs, we'd have had to invent something with similar
semantics ourselves. So we took the lazy programmers route and used
something already available (!) that looked right. 
 
 

Simon Cox

European Commission, Joint Research Centre, 
Institute for Environment and Sustainability, 
Spatial Data Infrastructures Unit, TP 262 
Via E. Fermi, 2749, I-21027 Ispra (VA), Italy 
Tel: +39 0332 78 3652
Fax: +39 0332 78 6325
 <mailto:simon.cox@jrc.ec.europa.eu> mailto:simon.cox@jrc.ec.europa.eu 
 <http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/simon-cox>
http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/simon-cox 

SDI Unit:  <http://sdi.jrc.ec.europa.eu/> http://sdi.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ 
IES Institute:  <http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/> http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/
JRC: http://www.jrc.ec.europa.eu/

 

  _____  

From: Simon Cox [mailto:simon.cox@jrc.ec.europa.eu] 
Sent: Thursday, 13 August 2009 16:52
To: 'Laurent.Lefort@csiro.au'; 'coryhenson@gmail.com' 

Cc: 'Michael.Compton@csiro.au'; 'public-xg-ssn@w3.org'

Subject: RE: Survey paper


Thanks Laurent - I think your analysis is fairly complete. 
 
Regarding 
 

> "Property metadata in GML ... overloading href, and use of other xlinks" =
'model reference to a ontological description' 
 <https://www.seegrid.csiro.au/twiki/bin/view/AppSchemas/PropertyMetadata> >
https://www.seegrid.csiro.au/twiki/bin/view/AppSchemas/PropertyMetadata
 
This was a proposal of mine, and does not yet have any formal status. 
It was submitted to the currently active GML working group, but has not been
discussed yet. 
 
So 'composition by inclusion of remote resources'  is currently the only
authorized use of xlinks in GML.   
 

Simon Cox 



European Commission, Joint Research Centre, 
Institute for Environment and Sustainability, 
Spatial Data Infrastructures Unit, TP 262 
Via E. Fermi, 2749, I-21027 Ispra (VA), Italy 
Tel: +39 0332 78 3652
Fax: +39 0332 78 6325




 <mailto:simon.cox@jrc.ec.europa.eu> mailto:simon.cox@jrc.ec.europa.eu 
 <http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/simon-cox>
http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/simon-cox 

SDI Unit:  <http://sdi.jrc.ec.europa.eu/> http://sdi.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ 
IES Institute:  <http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/> http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/
JRC: http://www.jrc.ec.europa.eu/
 

  _____  

From: public-xg-ssn-request@w3.org [mailto:public-xg-ssn-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Laurent.Lefort@csiro.au
Sent: Thursday, 13 August 2009 16:39
To: simon.cox@jrc.ec.europa.eu; coryhenson@gmail.com 

Cc: Michael.Compton@csiro.au; public-xg-ssn@w3.org

Subject: RE: Survey paper


Hi Cory,
 
This is one of the trickiest parts of the paper. I'm on a steep learning
curve for RDFa and have scracthed my head before on xlink before but I'll
try to help.
 
The way I would put it is: 
 
1) xlink is almost the semantic equivalent in XML to void* pointers in C
programs - when you got one, you're not always sure what you can do with it
because the valid recipe to handle it will depends on the subset of xlink
use cases which are allowed (similarily, how to deal with void* in C
programs depends largely on the age of the captain. So, any solution which
does not propagate it is preferable. 
 
2) If you have to use it, you need to look at the fine print to check what
the specs says: 
 
For example, in SVG, the xlink usage is described here:
<http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG/linking.html>
http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG/linking.html
 
 
3) In my opinion, the GML usage of xlink is incompletly described in Section
8 of  <http://portal.opengeospatial.org/files/?artifact_id=20509>
http://portal.opengeospatial.org/files/?artifact_id=20509  
 
Simon and other OGC colleagues posting on the seegrid wiki have documented
the xlink usage in GML in 2006 in two wiki pages which corresponds to the
two different use cases I think you are talking about:
 
'model reference to a ontological description' vs 'composition by inclusion
of remote resources'
 
I think that: 
GML Implementation of Features and Properties = 'composition by inclusion of
remote resources' 
https://www.seegrid.csiro.au/twiki/bin/view/AppSchemas/GmlImplementation
 
and: 
"Property metadata in GML ... overloading href, and use of other xlinks" =
'model reference to a ontological description' 
https://www.seegrid.csiro.au/twiki/bin/view/AppSchemas/PropertyMetadata
 
The major difficulty you should be aware of is that there are several
(subtly) different usages in of xlinks in usage in sub-communities of OGC:
Xlink can be used to point to "fragment" of other XML or HTML files
(locatable through a # beacon declaration or with the help of  Xpath
expression)
 
The GML spec authorises 4 variants:
EXAMPLE 1 A reference to an object element in the same GML document may be
encoded as: 

<myProperty xlink:href="#o1"/> 

EXAMPLE 2 A reference to an object element in a remote XML document using
the gml:id value of that object may be encoded as: 

<myProperty xlink:href="http://my.big.org/test.xml#o1"/> 

EXAMPLE 3* A reference to an object element in a remote XML document (or GML
object repository) using the gml:identifier property value of that object
may be encoded as: 

<myProperty
xlink:href="http://my.big.org/test.xml#element(//gml:GeodeticCRS[./gml:ident
ifier[@codeSpace="urn:x-ogc:def:crs:EPSG:6.3:"]="4326"])"/> 

*Personally, I have never seen anyone which uses this XPath augmented style
of uris ...

EXAMPLE 4 A reference to an object element with a uniform resource name may
be encoded as follows (note that a URN resolver is required to resolve the
URN and access the referenced object): 

<myProperty xlink:href="urn:x-ogc:def:crs:EPSG:6.3:4326"/> 

These 4 examples correspond to a first case of  'composition by inclusion of
remote resources'
 
One issue is that the GML specification let the door open to all the
possibility defined by the XLink spec through this sentence "the most useful
of these [xlink attributes] are" .... and "For complete definitions of these
and other Xlink components, including their use in extended Xlink
association maps, refer to the Xlink specification."
 
This GML xLink Profile (07-083) by Andrew Woolf
http://epubs.cclrc.ac.uk/bitstream/1851/AWO%20-%20xlink.ppt describes how
some of these xlink attributes should be used in GML for a small sets of
specific use cases. It has also been proposed around 2006 but to my
knowledge it has not been approved or recyled in a formally approved GML
spec. probably because it corresponds to a specific use case, when xlink are
used to locate resources embedded in netCDF files. 
 
 
I have to rush a bit here because you have exchanged 3 messages since I have
started to type. 
 
I think that the usage of xlink in SWE may be different and = 'model
reference to a ontological description'  
 
This is a different case because the xlink pointer is no longer used to
point to something which would corresponds to a RDF instance (container of
data) but rather to what would be a property of a class in the ontology (or
in a UML model). 
 
4) Different types of URIs
 
Long story (another post needed). For better scoped definitions, see the
skos notation or the CURIEs spec. 
 
5) Source of confusion (in general and in the paper) 
 
There are many possible combinations of the above usage. You are introducing
a new one which is to use xlink for annotations. 
 
Question: do you want to attach an annotation to a block of XML file which
could have been replaced by a xlink pointer for the purpose of 'composition
by inclusion of remote resources'  (e.g a gml:Point) or a block of the XML
file which is a  'model reference to a ontological description' vs
'composition by inclusion of remote resources'
(e.g. a swe:Phenomenon). I think to you should have different mappings for
the two cases. 
 
6) To be continued ...
 
Laurent.
 
PS: The GML spec says page 20:  GML follows RDF (W3C, 1999) terminology and
uses the term property rather than attribute or association role. 
This translates to something like: some of the names of class or attributes
used in GML have been borrowed from RDF. 
 
But not to something like: When the user find a RDF-like concept in GML, he
can be confident that the semantics of the corresponding concept or role in
the RDF specs are applicable to it. 
 


  _____  

From: public-xg-ssn-request@w3.org [mailto:public-xg-ssn-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Cory Henson
Sent: Thursday, 13 August 2009 14:27
To: Simon Cox
Cc: Michael.Compton@csiro.au; public-xg-ssn@w3.org
Subject: Re: Survey paper


Hi Simon,

Thanks for the comment.  We are using the term semantic annotation as
described in SAWSDL, as a model reference to a ontological description.
Does this conflict with the description as a 'composition by inclusion of
remote resources'? As far as mapping to RDF, this is in comparison to RDFa
which has a known syntactic translation from the set of annotations to RDF
triples. While xlink:href maps to rdf:resource, how would the values of
properties of this resource be translated to RDF? If this is not correct, or
the wording is awkward, please point us in the right direction.  Thanks for
your help.

-Cory 



On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 8:01 AM, Simon Cox <simon.cox@jrc.ec.europa.eu>
wrote:


Hi Mike -

A clarification relating to semantic annotations and xlink:

In GML-style XML documents, xlink:href plays the same role as rdf:resource
in an RDF/XML document.
I.e. it holds a pointer to external resource, which could be pasted inline
as an anonymous node with equivalent semantics.
This is a basic GML pattern and is explained in the GML spec
http://portal.opengeospatial.org/files/?artifact_id=20509 clause 7.2.3.
The examples involving xlink:href in Figure 2 aren't exactly 'annotations',
more 'composition by inclusion of remote resources'.

So I'm not sure if the example supports the point you are making.

You comment 'XLink has no predefined mapping to RDF.'
As mentioned above, _as used in GML documents_ xlink:href maps to
rdf:resource.

Simon Cox

European Commission, Joint Research Centre,
Institute for Environment and Sustainability,
Spatial Data Infrastructures Unit, TP 262
Via E. Fermi, 2749, I-21027 Ispra (VA), Italy
Tel: +39 0332 78 3652
Fax: +39 0332 78 6325
mailto:simon.cox@jrc.ec.europa.eu
http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/simon-cox

SDI Unit: http://sdi.jrc.ec.europa.eu/
IES Institute: http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/
JRC: http://www.jrc.ec.europa.eu/


-----Original Message-----
From: public-xg-ssn-request@w3.org [mailto:public-xg-ssn-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Michael.Compton@csiro.au
Sent: Thursday, 13 August 2009 13:43
To: public-xg-ssn@w3.org
Subject: Survey paper

Hi all,

Sorry it's so close to the SSN'09 deadline, but with help from Cory and
Holger, I (finally) have a survey paper.  Please read, comment, etc.

(there are a couple of obvious tweaks/FIXME's yet to be made)

Michael







-- 
Cory Andrew Henson
Kno.e.sis Center, Wright State University
http://knoesis.wright.edu/researchers/cory/





-- 
Cory Andrew Henson
Kno.e.sis Center, Wright State University
http://knoesis.wright.edu/researchers/cory/
Received on Thursday, 13 August 2009 15:42:22 GMT

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