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Definition of "profile" - updated

From: Thomas Baker <tom@tombaker.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2019 11:20:04 +0200
To: public-dxwg-wg <public-dxwg-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20190710092004.GA17912@cicero.speedport.ip>
On Tuesday's call, we resolved [1]:

    RESOLVED: to defer discussion of the UC and focus on
    definitions of profile as the[y] *are now* for the
    conneg and dcat docs.

We are hitting the pause button on trying to define
profiles as they think they _could_ or _should_ be in the
future (e.g., "sets of constraints"). "Profile" must be
defined in CONNEG and DCAT in ways that recognizably fit
what CONNEG and DCAT are about. As Peter has suggested,
the definitions must be comprehensible to ordinary
readers outside of this group.

I have proposed two simple definitions, which have gone
through several iterations [2,3,4,5]. Taking on board
Stephen's reduced proposal, we end up with:

    data profile

        A data specification that constrains, extends, or
        annotates other data specifications.

    data specification

        A specification, with human- and/or
        machine-processable representations, that defines
        the content and structure of data used in a given

As per Antoine's concerns about the ambiguity of
"annotates" [6], I suggest we add something like: "In
this context, 'annotate' means 'to provide guidance or
explanation about usage'."

By my count, circa eight out of the eleven active members
in this discussion have expressed support for these
definitions (or a variant thereof), either by upvoting in 
Github or by commenting on calls.

I agree with Antoine [7] that the definition of "profile"
should acknowledge and cite two other usages of "profile"
in a data context -- JSON-LD "profiles" ("syntactic
profiles") and "data profiling" (a data analysis
activity) -- if only to say that they are out of scope.

Could we please bring this to a vote?


[1] https://www.w3.org/2019/07/09-dxwg-minutes#x04
[2] https://github.com/w3c/dxwg/issues/963#issuecomment-506650168
[3] https://github.com/w3c/dxwg/issues/963#issuecomment-507129887
[4] https://github.com/w3c/dxwg/issues/963#issuecomment-507780038
[5] https://github.com/w3c/dxwg/issues/963#issuecomment-507833126
[6] https://github.com/w3c/dxwg/issues/963#issuecomment-507851591
[7] https://github.com/w3c/dxwg/issues/976

Tom Baker <tom@tombaker.org>
Received on Wednesday, 10 July 2019 09:20:32 UTC

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