Re: [dxwg] DCAT 1.1 URL in W3C space

I think we need to have an in-depth discussion about the versioning of the specification. For the time being, until we have decided on the approach, I'd suggest not to use numbers at all, but to call the FPWD a 'revision of DCAT' and use a URI like

There are three possibilities:

1. No version numbering at all. Just call it DCAT and provide a date of last modification in the document metadata.
2. Call it version 1.1, which seems to imply minor semantic changes. 
3. Call it version 2.0, which seems to say that it is incompatible with the existing specification.

Option 1 is the approach at DCMI. This of course implies that there is complete backward compatibility between specifications. Any implementation that uses any version of the specification is fully compatible, although newer versions might use things (e.g. new properties, updated external standards for controlled vocabularies) that weren't in previous versions but it really doesn't affect interoperability.

Option 2 (version 1.1) might mean that applications compliant with version 1.0 are still fully compliant with version 1.1, although applications that implement version 1.1 may use things that were not in version 1.0. If an application of version 1.0 receives data from a version 1.1 application, it may get things (e.g. new property) it does not understand, but it is perfectly OK to ignore those. On the other hand, anything that was defined in version 1.0, should behave exactly the same in version 1.1. An application implementing version 1.1 should be able to fully understand data that is based on version 1.0.

Option 3 (version 2.0) might be an indication that an implementation of version 1.0, will not be able to interoperate with an application based on version 2.0.

For each of the changes we are working on, we need to determine how they relate to these three options and then decide what we want to do.

In is important to note that option 3 will lead to a split between the universe of version 1.0 implementations and the universe of version 2.0 implementations. The question is whether implementers will see sufficient reasons to upgrade from version 1.0 to 2.0 to justify the additional investment.

If at all possible, I would suggest we try to stay within the boundaries of options 1 or 2, and only go for option 3 if it is absolutely necessary. If option 3, we may need to get feedback from current implementers to see if they would plan to upgrade.

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Received on Monday, 2 April 2018 09:57:11 UTC