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Re: RE : [ISSUE-77] [ISSUE-48] Re: [Dbpedia-discussion] Skos subject properties are deprecated

From: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 19:10:13 +0000
Cc: "Simon Spero" <sesuncedu@gmail.com>, "Mikael Nilsson" <mikael@nilsson.name>, "Bernard Vatant" <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>, "Peter Ansell" <ansell.peter@gmail.com>, <dbpedia-discussion@lists.sourceforge.net>, "SKOS" <public-esw-thes@w3.org>
Message-Id: <A8A78C20-8AA7-44F5-8D84-ADEF3E5E2895@cyganiak.de>
To: "Antoine Isaac" <Antoine.Isaac@KB.nl>


On 24 Jan 2008, at 18:08, Antoine Isaac wrote:
> I'm afraid I have to support all these claims, Richard :-)
> I don't remember the precise reference, but I read once that an  
> antelope becomes a document as soon as it is in a zoo, which makes  
> quite some sense to me.

I love this example! The common sense part of my brain says: “What are  
these guys smoking?” While the purely logically trained part of my  
brain says: “Yes, this makes total sense. Obviously an antelope in a  
zoo is a document.” It's a fascinatingly complicated issue.

> Actually in your wikipedia case there might be a problem anyway. I  
> would not say that it is the TimBL resource which is about the  
> history of the net, but its description on wikipedia: what if this  
> description had been purely biological (size, hair color, preferred  
> beer)? In this case the categorization of the resource you describe  
> under "history of the internet" would be problematic, wouldn't it?

I don't think it would be problematic. I want to put the man into the  
“history of the net” bucket, not any particular description of him.  
The description's purpose is just to establish whom we are talking  

“TimBL is about the history of the net” is a weird statement, I agree  
with you on that point (and probably disagree with Bernard). But  
that's part of my argument for a new property: I feel that “A  
skos:subject B” carries a certain implication, in natural language,  
that “A is about B”. I would prefer having another property that does  
not carry that implication.

“A skos:indexedIn B” -- “TimBL is indexed under the concept History of  
the Net”.

> Cheers, (and thank you all of all for this very interesting  
> discussion on an important issue for SKOS. For the moment no formal  
> decision has been taken whether to deprecate skos:subject and to  
> "replace" it by dc:subject, so any input is welcome)

Just one more point that hasn't been raised yet in this thread: My  
subjective feeling is that vocabularies should be well-rounded  
packages that address all the typical needs of a particular domain.  
Some duplication with existing vocabularies is acceptable if it makes  
the new vocabulary more complete. From that point of view, retaining  
skos:subject is a good idea. Many SKOS users will need it, and SKOS is  
a much nicer package if it remains included.

(Of course it's still important to declare subclass- and subproperty  
relationship to existing vocabularies.)


> Antoine
> -------- Message d'origine--------
> De: public-esw-thes-request@w3.org de la part de Simon Spero
> Date: jeu. 24/01/2008 18:47
> À: Richard Cyganiak
> Cc: Mikael Nilsson; Bernard Vatant; Peter Ansell; dbpedia-discussion@lists.sourceforge.net 
> ; SKOS
> Objet : Re: [ISSUE-77] [ISSUE-48] Re: [Dbpedia-discussion] Skos  
> subject properties are deprecated
> On Jan 24, 2008, at 10:42 AM, Richard Cyganiak wrote:
> > On 24 Jan 2008, at 15:26, Simon Spero wrote:
> >>> Like skos:subject, dcterms:subject seems to be intended for use on
> >>> documents, not people or cities. Hence it doesn't really meet
> >>> DBpedia's requirements.
> >> The meaning of "document" in this context is extremely broad;  if
> >> we follow  Otlet's definition of a document as anything which can
> >> convey information to an observer(Buckland 1997),  the term would
> >> seem to cover anything which can have a subject.
> >>
> >> By this standard, timbl is a document, but only when someone's
> >> looking.
> >
> > Sorry, but you lost me there. Where I live, people are not
> > documents, and I like it here.
> Following Otlet, people aren't documents by virtue of being people;
> they are only documents if they are carrying conveying some sort of
> information.  For example, timbl as document can answer the question
> "what colour is Tim's hair?"
> Under this framework, it is quite reasonable to say that timbl (the
> person)  is about "Berners-Lee, Tim."
> Simon
Received on Thursday, 24 January 2008 19:10:26 UTC

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