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RE: Advice on Referencing External Vocabularies

From: Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2015 14:25:45 +0000
To: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>, W3C Public Annotation List <public-annotation@w3.org>, Dan Brickley <danbri@google.com>
Message-ID: <CY1PR0601MB14220F0F3FEDF01DC1A4D791DF2A0@CY1PR0601MB1422.namprd06.prod.outlook.com>
While not pretending to have anywhere near the expertise on this as you or Danbri, I want to express a +1000 to his position. There are a multitude of vocabularies, and each one is important to some sector of publishing, communication, and information dissemination. I think it would be a huge mistake to try to pick one of them. IMO it is essential to remain agnostic on such things in the context of the Web. In fact, within specific domains, practitioners often find that even the most widely used vocabularies, including schema.org and both DCMES and DCTERMS, are insufficient for their particular domain-specific needs. Common framework (e.g, the abstract model), sure; agreed-upon syntaxes/serializations (note the plurals), okay, more than one but maybe not any old thing; common vocabulary, don't go there.
--Bill Kasdorf

-----Original Message-----
From: Doug Schepers [mailto:schepers@w3.org] 
Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 2015 2:12 AM
To: W3C Public Annotation List; Dan Brickley
Subject: Advice on Referencing External Vocabularies

Hi, Dan–

Thanks for the discussions at TPAC.

(Context: Danbri is the coordinator for Schema.org, one of the contributors to Dublin Core, founder of FOAF, and a long-time SemWeb expert, experienced in both application development and in standards. I asked him over dinner what approach we should use in referencing external vocabularies for our terms.)

If you'll recall, I asked you for advice on what vocabulary to reference, and relative influence and usage of `dc-term`s vs Schema.org.

I was surprised by your answer… If I understood correctly, you suggested not using any one canonical external vocabulary in our spec, but rather to offer a set of equivalent vocabulary terms that might be used, depending on the project. On the one hand, this makes sense, and is a decentralized solution; on the other, it doesn't really reduce the complexity, as I'd hoped to do by referencing only a single external vocabulary. Could you explain the rationale there, or correct my misunderstanding?

Also, I asked about patterns of usage in `dc-term`s and Schema.org. My understanding was that Schema.org had already overtaken the usage of Dublin Core in the wider Web (though perhaps not in older libraries), and that it would be easiest for future developers if we used Schema.org; TimBL suggested during our F2F that more projects, and thus more tools, natively understood Dublin Core today; ultimately, I guess we need to figure out the right balance (or, maybe not, if we follow your advice on including multiple references). I think you had a more nuanced answer on usage patterns, too. Can you speak to that as well?

All your explanations made sense to me at the time, but not enough for me to convey facts and explain it to others in this WG… I appreciate your helping us sort out some long-standing (if not particularly
contentious) issues.


Received on Wednesday, 4 November 2015 14:26:15 UTC

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