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Re: [dxwg] PROF roles and their definitions (#1049)

From: Karen Coyle via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 03 Sep 2019 02:46:54 +0000
To: public-dxwg-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-527283155-1567478813-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
It is somewhat difficult to discuss the roles without reference to their meaning, but here's my basic feeling about basic roles:

1. Specification is not a role - everything listed here is a specification based on our definition of specification
1. mapping is a relationship between two data definitions, and there is nothing in prof that allows one to say "a mapped to b", so this isn't covered by prof as defined
1. most of the terms here are ambiguous in that they could be either human-readable documents or actionable code. Leaving in that ambiguity, to me, makes the roles less than useful. As an example, a human-readable document that includes a vocabulary has a very different use case to an actionable schema. If the role doesn't specify the difference between readable documents and actionable code, then I don't think the roles are terribly useful. You _could_ say that a .ttl or .pdf makes it clear, but I think we can all imagine a .ttl that doesn't do what you expect it to do. Plus, using the format requires additional digging - why not put it directly in the role?

We should discuss which roles we think cover the most common cases. I'll take a guess at: (and what we name them should be a 2nd step)

1. Human-readable profile vocabulary documentation (may include description of required/desired schema and record formats)
1. Human-readable business rules (guidance)
1. Machine-actionable validation rules (it may be useful to call out XSD, SHACL, ShEx, Schematron... others commonly in use?)
1. Vocabulary that is encoded in a schema language (XSD, OWL, YAML, JSON-S, ????)
1. Diagrams of the data model (I'm only so-so on this one)
1. Example sets

A caution about coding the roles: If any of these are interpreted to mean "any document or file that has these characteristics" the resulting metadata may not be very useful. You could have any full or partial examples in every one of the roles I list above, but coding all of them as "examples" just means that a person has to looked at every document. Some rules about what merits a role, even within a single community, could be very important to "save the time of the user". I think that well-crafted definitions could help with that.


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