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Re: [dxwg] vCard and FOAF? (#955)

From: makxdekkers via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2019 20:29:24 +0000
To: public-dxwg-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-511557518-1563222563-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Dear Renato,

We have discussed your suggestion to change the specification of DCAT, where you argued that vCard, which is currently only specified as the recommendation for `dcat:contactPoint`, could also be used for properties to identify persons and organisations, i.e. `dct:creator` and `dct:publisher`.
While we appreciate your suggestion and understand that in your opinion this would increase consistency across the specification, we have decided not to make the change you have asked for.

The reason for our decision is two-fold:

1.	In the current specification, there is an explicit semantic difference between the agent-related properties, defined by DCMI as linking to an agent, i.e. organisation or person, and `dcat:contactPoint` which is defined as linking to contact information for the catalogued resource. This is the reason that the recommendation for `dcat:contactPoint`, to use vCard, is different from the recommendation for the agent-related properties, to use resources of type `foaf:Agent`. In our opinion, this difference in intention between the properties is important to preserve.

2.	We have not seen evidence that the current specification hinders or breaks  implementations. In general, one of the criteria to make changes is that such changes are necessary to repair errors that negatively affect interoperability or to add features that increase interoperability, and we consider this change not essential for increased interoperability.

Having said that, the fact that we’re not adding vCard as a recommendation for the agent-related properties does not mean, within the context of the Open Word Assumption, that it would be illegal to use vCard properties for the description of agents, as long as these vCard properties are applied to an entity that is an instance of the class `foaf:Agent`; it is just that we don’t consider it to be necessary to make the additional recommendation.

As we understand there may be some confusion over the usage of vCard for `dcat:contactPoint`, we will add some examples to the specification to make its use clearer. 

Kind regards, Makx Dekkers










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