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Re: Translating SKOS labels, comments and definitions?

From: Antoine Isaac <aisaac@few.vu.nl>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:08:21 +0200
Message-ID: <51F8FE35.7080603@few.vu.nl>
To: <public-esw-thes@w3.org>

> This page provides basic info about translating SKOS labels, comments and definitions: http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/translations#contributing
> …but the only examples of translations seem to be the outdated 2005 version? Where can I find updated RDF files with translations of e.g. labels?
> Regards,
> Peter

Dear Peter, all,

[sorry for the very long mail. I'm afraid you've opened quite a can of worms for me ;-) ]

As you've seen the translations at the "official" page [1] are not very fresh.
However, it wouldn't be a problem putting your new translation there. On the contrary!
I can make a snapshot of your RDF file and put it with the other file, and adapt the page to reflect that your Swedish translation is available--and up-to-date.

However you may want to wait a bit before I push it there - in case other Swedish-speaking people have comments...
If you want, in the meanwhile, you can put it on the SKOS wiki [2], perhaps creating a specific "Translations" page. The wiki is free for everyone in the community to edit!
And other contributors could do the same.
I know the wiki/site dichotomy is not perfect, but I don't have much time for SKOS, and there are many issues, so that's all I can offer.

Then we have to decide how to "technically" handle the translations, once they're approved by the community.
What I'd prefer is to add the new translated labels to the reference SKOS RDF file [3]. But we can't do this, as it is in the /TR/ space and shouldn't change! Also, maintenance-wise it may be trickier: there is an OWL-DL variant [4] of that SKOS RDF file, which would need to be updated and maintained as well.
So we'll have to handle several files for now. But this still leaves important questions:

1. What data to put in a SKOS RDF translation file ?

1.a. Whether the translation file should repeat English labels and notes, next to the translations.
The translation by Peter [5] does it. I think it is not ideal: there should be just one source of English labels and notes in the SKOS space.
I know you have pointed language tag errors in the official file [6]. But if there are errors in the SKOS RDF file, I'd in fact prefer to publish an updated reference version, a "reference RDF file handling errata from [7]" somewhere else then [3], rather than rely on individual translations to fix issues from [3] in a uncontrolled way.
Now, perhaps this brings lessons for the future: i.e., the English labels might have been put in a separate file (and then OWL-imported by the main RDF file at [3]). But as we can't change [3] it's not an option now.

1.b. Whether there should be one file per language or one file for all languages.
I think from a maintenance perspective it's easier to have one file for all translations. It may seem less flexible, but it makes finding and loading translations easier. Maintenance is also simplified, for me or anyone else who'd have the task of updating the 'official' translations.
But it may be a problem depending on the resolution of #2 below...

2. How to "serve" translations?
The old 2005 translations had a strange redirection, where a "language-specific namespace" like
redirects to a real RDF file
, which has the latest version of the translations.
I'm really not sure we need this... Handling language-specific namespace does not seem a simple idea.
I'd rather just put a file with translated labels, make sure it's findable on the SKOS site [1] and wiki [2]. And rely on interested users (and applications) to load it in a manual fashion. Does this seem really too harsh?

I'm going to push the issue to a number of fora and people to see if I can get more feedback. Meanwhile, any feedback here is much welcome!



[1] http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/translations
[2] http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/wiki/SKOS
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/skos-reference/skos.rdf
[4] http://www.w3.org/TR/skos-reference/skos-owl1-dl.rdf
[5] https://github.com/peterk/skos_sv
[6] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-esw-thes/2013Jul/0022.html
[7] http://www.w3.org/2006/07/SWD/SKOS/reference/20090811-errata
Received on Wednesday, 31 July 2013 12:08:50 UTC

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