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Re: Could ISO-639 languages be defined as skos concepts?

From: Thomas Baker <baker@sub.uni-goettingen.de>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 17:15:21 +0100
To: Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
Cc: public-esw-thes@w3.org
Message-ID: <20061220161521.GA2240@Octavius>

On Mon, Dec 18, 2006 at 06:54:18PM +0100, Bernard Vatant wrote:
> ISO-639 languages are used in XML and in RDF, and in SKOS, via their 
> code used as value of xml:lang attribute.
> But for various applications, it would be interesting to define those 
> languages as proper RDF resources.
> So far, the only attempt to do so I've found in RDF is 
> http://downlode.org/rdf/iso-639/ and the description it provides is 
> quite basic.

> So, we have public concepts, a lot of data to mine, we have use cases, 
> all we need is a namespace to which append ISO 639 codes to forge URIs.
> Who is likely to host and maintain that namespace?
> http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/language#  ?
> http://purl.org/dc/language/  ?
> Since I think we can wait for quite a while before ISO delivers such a 
> thing in its own namespace - and I would be happy to be proven wrong 
> here - I wonder what kind of initiative could move this thing forward. 
> Is it in DCMI intention to define those instances in its own namespace 
> (Tom, any clues on that?).

Well, I agree with the need :-)

Several years ago, we considered opening a DCMI service for the
"registration" of URIs identifying controlled vocabularies for
use as encoding schemes in metadata.  While the demand for such
a service was clear, the project did not look maintainable,
sustainable, and scalable.

Unless URIs are coined "once and for all" and "with no
guarantees" (and how useful is that?), it is not clear 
how such a namespace host should operate over time.  The
impulse to "just do it" comes up against hard questions.
Even just maintaining URIs for entities in a separately
maintained ISO standard would involve a significant commitment.


Tom Baker - tbaker@tbaker.de - baker@sub.uni-goettingen.de
Received on Wednesday, 20 December 2006 16:14:29 UTC

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