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Re: [dxwg] Stability of DCAT version URIs (#1128)

From: makxdekkers via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2019 11:43:39 +0000
To: public-dxwg-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-543693775-1571399018-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
@NancyJean We discussed the options for a new namespace for DCAT2 some time ago. See https://github.com/w3c/dxwg/issues/131.

As I see it, we are following best practice at W3C and other places where the namespace remains the same for different versions (e.g. RDF: http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#; OWL: http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl# -- note that OWL2 still uses the OWL namespace; SKOS: http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/core#; Dublin Core: http://purl.org/dc/terms/; Schema.org: http://schema.org/).

Our main objective was to preserve backward compatibility as much as possible; because of that, relaxing constraints and adding new classes and properties in the existing namespace was  considered to be OK because existing implementations don't break.

DCMI has an [explicit policy](https://www.dublincore.org/specifications/dublin-core/dcmi-namespace/) for changes to URIs:
_Changes of definitions within DCMI recommendations and/or DCMI term declarations will be reflected in the affected DCMI recommendation and/or DCMI term declaration. If, in the judgment of the DCMI Directorate, such changes of meaning are likely to have substantial impact on either machine processing of DCMI terms or the functional semantics of the terms, then these changes will be reflected in a change of URI for the DCMI term or terms in question. The URIs for any new DCMI namespaces resulting from such changes will conform to the DCMI namespace URI pattern defined above._

Note the emphasis on the _substantial impact_ in this policy, and also that, if a new URI were to be created, it would still be declared in the same namespace. This is more or less the policy that we're using for DCAT. Maybe we need to make this policy explicit?

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