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Re: ISSUE-160: Allowing collections in semantic relationships

From: Leonard Will <L.Will@willpowerinfo.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2008 15:51:10 +0000
Message-ID: <JD+yKQOu58RJFAGT@mail.willpowerinfo.co.uk>
To: Antoine Isaac <aisaac@few.vu.nl>
Cc: Dupriez Christophe <christophe_dupriez@yahoo.fr>, Aida Slavic <aida@acorweb.net>, Thomas Baker <baker@sub.uni-goettingen.de>, "public-swd-wg@w3.org" <public-swd-wg@w3.org>, "public-esw-thes@w3.org" <public-esw-thes@w3.org>

On Tue, 16 Dec 2008 at 15:58:47, Antoine Isaac <aisaac@few.vu.nl> wrote
>Hello everyone,
>Until now, SKOS is meant rather for data publication and exchange, and 
>not for data management as a replacement of original 
>formats/model/tools [1]. From a formal perspective, this makes the 
>requirement to be complete less crucial.

But if it is just for publication and exchange, why bother putting it 
into an RDF framework? There are various simpler formats that have been 
used in the past for the exchange of thesaurus data. I thought that the 
point of RDF was to make it amenable to machine reasoning.

>And we have to deal with the fact that there are applications which are 
>designed to consume SKOS data, which do not care about all the 
>subtleties. We could have SKOS contain 100 model elements: Johan's [2] 
>and Leonard's [3] mails, as well as the work in [4] perfectly 
>illustrate that this could easily be reached, should we only consider 
>ISO and the vocabularies Christophe mentioned. But in that case, should 
>every SKOS implementation deal with all of them?

If we accept that SKOS cannot yet provide for all the elements of the 
draft ISO model, it might nevertheless cover a subset of them, with the 
possibility of others being developed later as time and resources 

My concern is that at present it contains elements that conflict with 
the model and which will give rise misunderstandings and confusion; e.g. 
allowing node labels to be treated as concepts and using "collections" 
in a vague way which does not correspond to either "arrays" or "concept 
groups" in the ISO model.

>That's just not doable to require such a thing from implementers. At 
>some point, we therefore would have to define a core --and the SWD 
>working group has to do that itself, because otherwise future 
>interoperability is ruined. And practically, this amounts to having a 
>standard core vocabulary extended with application-specific profiles.

Rather than "application-specific profiles", which may diverge and 
overlap, I would like to see any additional work being directed to 
extensions which form an integral part of the format and which are in 
accordance with the data model. Many of the elements of the model are 
optional - they are allowed to have zero occurrences - so if not needed 
for a particular application they do not have to be used.

>Ideally there should be more cooperation between ISO25964 and us to 
>create such an extension. But again, there is a huge problem of time, I 
>guess :-(

Indeed! But this is a reason why we should pool our resources as far as 
possible and work in as coordinated a way as possible. Many of the 
people on the ISO 25964 working group are also on the SKOS list, so I 
think that cooperation is quite close already, but if there is any other 
way in which we can cooperate that would certainly be welcome. (It is 
unfortunate that ISO procedures don't allow the same openness of 
discussion and sharing of drafts that is possible in W3C developments.)

I would like to see the data model extended to allow for faceted 
classification structures and pre-coordinated subject indexing schemes, 
and we may have to look at these when we start work on the draft of part 
2 of ISO 25964 next year. I do think that we have to get the model right 
before starting to construct a format in XML, RDF or whatever.

Any ideas on these would be most welcome, though as Antoine says a lot 
of work lies ahead. Can I just remind folk of the fact that the Bliss 
Classification Association has a small amount of money that might be 
made available for a project in this area - see:

Willpower Information       (Partners: Dr Leonard D Will, Sheena E Will)
Information Management Consultants              Tel: +44 (0)20 8372 0092
27 Calshot Way, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 7BQ, UK. Fax: +44 (0)870 051 7276
L.Will@Willpowerinfo.co.uk               Sheena.Will@Willpowerinfo.co.uk
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Received on Tuesday, 16 December 2008 15:54:28 UTC

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