W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-webont-wg@w3.org > November 2001

Re: LEAD: making an ontology about the ontology group...

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 05 Nov 2001 11:13:58 -0600
Message-ID: <3BE6C8D5.A0ECA69B@w3.org>
To: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
CC: www-webont-wg@w3.org
"Peter F. Patel-Schneider" wrote:
> >
> I know that the group is not supposed to be making ontologies, but if we
> are going to use an ontology as an example, particularly as an example of
> us, I would like to have a good ontology, and the ontology that Dan is
> proposing that we use (http://www.w3.org/2000/10/swap/pim/contact) is
> broken in several ways and bad in other ways.

I'm glad you noticed! Thanks for the careful review; firstly,
the RDF/xml version of this ontology is automatically
generated from another form, and I notice that it has fallen
out of date... I've fixed that now...

 new revision: 1.11

 new revision: 1.4;

Let's see how many of your comments are still outstanding...

>  I know that if I am going to
> have to eat any of my own dogfood, I want the dogfood to be superior
> quality.  (Although, knowing how dogfood is made makes me very leery of
> eating any dogfood at all!)
> The ontology uses ``address'' for the relationship between a
> ``ContactLocation'' and an ``Address'', but the relationships like
> ``Country'' all have domain ``address''.  This is valid RDF, but probably
> will not have the intended meaning!

Quite... ok.. I think I've fixed that now...

> The ontology is written in alphabetical order, which, because of the RDFS
> way of having global domains and ranges, makes the information associated
> with a class very hard to read.  Why not group relationships with the same
> domain together?

Actually, it's written using a different notation altogether
and spit out in this form by machine. Umm... Mike Dean has
a tool to present an ontology with the properties sorted
by domain, no?


no, that's not it... hang on...



  Exception in thread "main" org.xml.sax.SAXParseException: Cannot nest
a Description inside
another Description at
edu.stanford.db.xml.util.ErrorStore.fatalError(ErrorStore.java:61) at

oops... the RDF validator gives a similar error message...
uh-oh... screweyness in converting N3 rules to RDF... time to
comment those out for now...

OK... now you've got a view with the properties organized
by domain. But... hmm... dumpont doesn't seem to infer
that something's a Property from the fact that it's got
a domain. And it doesn't show descriptions (rdfs:comment).

Mike, I don't see a "send feedback here" on the dumpont
output, but I suspect you know where feedback should go.
Please forward this feedback.

> The ontology has a very strange equivalentTo, which is not going to be
> treated very well by any formalism that tries to assign useful meaning to
> equivalentTo.

Hmm... I wonder where that came from. I think it's fixed now.

> The ontology uses a firstName, middleName, lastName grouping for names,
> which is not very general.  Further, the example that Dan provides uses
> familyName, givenName, and fullName, which is better, but different.


>  Why
> not use an existing methodology, such as vCard?  [See below for my concerns
> about vCard.]

I think you answered your own question... if you start
down the road of representing vCard in RDF, you can get
very busy critiquing vCard...

We've done a little work looking at vCard in RDF... or
rather: we've looked at vCalendar more; cf

  Building an RDF model:
  A quick look at iCalendar

So I'm interested in a representation of vCard in RDF,
but not today.

Maybe I'll add a note in the contact schema (er... ontology)
to say "yes, we know about vCard; we intend to look at
it closer eventually."

> The ontology defines ``Address'', which I take to mean a postal address.

I'd really rather not get into the business of modelling postal
addresses. As team contact, I have practical need to know
	email address
	family/given name
	nearest airport
and I'd like to know
	office phone number

Er... actually, I don't need family/given if I could have
fullName and sortName.
I'm currently sorting by familyName, falling
back on the fact that the official language of W3C is en-US.

I could, perhaps, quit using the contact schema from 2000/10/swap/pim
and start our own, for the business of this WG. But I'd lose
out on collaboration with Semantic Web Advanced Development stuff,
so I'd rather not... at least not yet.

> It also defines a bunch of relationships that, I presume, are supposed to
> represent the semantically-meaningful portions of an address.  However,
> some of the relationships are semantically-meaningful, like ``country'',
> and some are not, like ``Street3''.    There is also the problem that many
> people have several different addresses for their offices, perhaps one used
> by the postal service and one used by the delivery services.
> Why not try for a fully semantic representation of Address, something like
>         Recipient
>         Internal - used after the delivery service delivers the object
>         Local - used by the delivery service
>         City - or other administrative district
>         State/Province
>         Country
>         PostalCode - a (mostly) redundant identifier used by the delivery service
> Under this scheme, my addresses would be
>         PostalAddress   Recipient       Peter F. Patel-Schneider

you mean RecipientFullName, no?

>                         Internal        Lucent Technologies
>                                         Room 2A-427
>                                         600 Mountain Ave
>                         Local           PO Box 636
>                         City            Murray Hill
>                         State/Province  New Jersey
>                         Country         US
>                         Postal Code     07974-0636
>         DeliveryAddress Recipient       Peter F. Patel-Schneider
>                         Internal        Lucent Technologies
>                                         Room 2A-427
>                         Local           600 Mountain Ave
>                         City            Murray Hill
>                         State/Province  New Jersey
>                         Country         US
>                         Postal Code     07974-0636
> peter
> PS: In my opinion the vCard methodology is not very good, but at least it
> does exist.  Why not good?  Consider my mother, whose legal name is (close
> to) Francis Jane Cressman Schneider, but everyone calls her Jane.  vCard
> has the requirement that the first of one's given names is distinguished,
> but that doesn't fit lots of people.  vCard also has no way of
> distinguishing between the various ways that people acquire extra names.
> My mother's full name is usually written F. Jane Schneider, which treats
> her first name in the way that people's middle name is usually treated.
> vCard does not allow the possibility of different names entirely, such as
> the very common Mrs. Fred Schneider, which, by the way, is a different
> person from Mrs. Frederick Schneider.  Why is this important?  Just try to
> get on an international flight when the name on your ticket and the name on
> your passport don't match.

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Monday, 5 November 2001 12:13:55 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 21:56:40 UTC