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Absence of mention of units of measure for columns is very surprising

From: Simon Cox <dr.shorthair@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2015 13:52:01 +0100
Message-ID: <CAMcwmNzu7afpcfmT-Q0_nxMf6sUCL2Z872xppYgoEaDfY4j6ig@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-csv-wg-comments@w3.org
I am involved with the Research Data Alliance activity on Data Types and
Registries.
The goal of this is to
(i) develop a format/model for the description of the structure of datasets
(ii) allow the descriptions to be registered, so they can be referred to.
kinda like enhanced MIME-types, so that client applications know what's
inside a dataset, not just the file format.
A prototype has already been developed by CNRI, with a test deployment.

There is clearly a significant shared concern with CSV on the web, so in
preparation for meetings next week I consulted the Candidate Specs,
particularly the "Model for Tabular Data and Metadata on the Web". I have
not read the full suite of documents in detail, but was surprised to find
that 'units of measure' is not mentioned in the set of 'core annotations'
for columns http://www.w3.org/TR/tabular-data-model/#columns (in most
tables data in a single column will have a common unito of measure).

I raised this with Jeremy, and he showed me the route which can be
followed, by adding a column or traversing through the QB vocabulary.
However, this is complicated, and not made immediately available or even
flagged in the text.
I strongly suggest
(i) at least alerting readers to how this very common requirement can be
managed
(ii) better still, consider adding uom as a standard column annotation.

Simon Cox
CSIRO, co-convenor of RDA Data Types activity.
Received on Monday, 21 September 2015 07:49:48 UTC

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