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Fwd: Re: SKOS comment - How to better explain why skos:broader is not transitive

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:54:42 -0400
Message-ID: <533F0E02.2000603@dbooth.org>
To: public-esw-thes@w3.org
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: SKOS comment - How to better explain why skos:broader is 
not transitive
Date: Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:18:10 -0400
From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
To: public-swd-wg@w3.org

P.S. Can this be added to the errata for the primer, as a clarification?
  I don't know the process for adding something to the errata.
http://www.w3.org/2006/07/SWD/SKOS/reference/20090811-errata

On 04/04/2014 03:14 PM, David Booth wrote:
> The fact that skos:broader is not transitive is confusingly
> non-intuitive, because it is quite natural to assume that if A
> skos:broader B, and B skos:broader C, then A skos:broader C.
>
> The confusion is well known, and the primer duly explains how
> skos:broader is *not* transitive, but skos:broaderTransitive *is*
> transitive:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/skos-primer/#sectransitivebroader
>
> However, I think I just realized *why* this is so non-intuitive, how
> this problem could have been avoided, and how the primer (and other
> documents) can now explain it better.  And it is extremely simple.
>
> The problem is that the *name* of the skos:broader predicate is
> misleading.  The concept it formally denotes is *not* the concept that B
> is broader than A.  Rather, it is that B is *immediately* broader than A
> (in a potentially larger hierarchy of broader-ness).  If the predicate
> had been named skos:immediatelyBroader (or something similar) then the
> reader would much more readily realize that the predicate does *not*
> denote the concept of broader **in general** (which would be
> transitive), but the concept of a concept being *immediately* broader
> than another concept.
>
> Since it is too late to rename this predicate, I suggest that the next
> version of the primer -- and any new documents on SKOS -- explicitly
> explain the non-transitive nature of skos:broader this way, and
> explicitly acknowledge that the decision to name this concept
> "skos:broader" was admittedly misleading, for this reason.  I think this
> will help a lot of readers understand it more easily.  I know that I
> personally puzzled over this for a long time, whereas I would have
> understood it right away if it were explained this way.
>
> Thanks,
> David
>
>
Received on Friday, 4 April 2014 19:55:09 UTC

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