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Re: Open Library and RDF

From: Jodi Schneider <jodi.schneider@deri.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2010 09:12:24 +0100
Cc: "public-lld" <public-lld@w3.org>, "LeVan,Ralph" <levan@oclc.org>
Message-Id: <2AD6ED75-1ADF-49BC-90AB-5BA6336362A6@deri.org>
To: "Young,Jeff (OR)" <jyoung@OCLC.ORG>
Hi Jeff,

Usually when you say "Maybe an example would help" I become even more confused.

It sounds like by "self-conceptualization" you mean the internal/default representation (data structure/ metadata model/etc) That seems to fit with your general use of "conceptualization". Thanks!

-Jodi

On 15 Aug 2010, at 23:02, Young,Jeff (OR) wrote:

> Jodi,
> 
> Maybe an example would help. This is how VIAF thinks about itself:
> 
> http://viaf.org/viaf.jpg
> http://viaf.org/ontology/1.1/viafOntology.html
> 
> (Note that I've used UML and OWL as two different ways to represent the same model.)
> 
> At runtime, VIAF maps our "self-conceptualization" to other conceptual models like FOAF and SKOS.
> 
> Jeff
> 
> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Jodi Schneider [mailto:jodi.schneider@deri.org]
>> Sent: Sunday, August 15, 2010 5:23 PM
>> To: Young,Jeff (OR)
>> Cc: public-lld
>> Subject: Re: Open Library and RDF
>> 
>> Jeff, what do you mean by 'self-conceptualized' here? -Jodi
>> 
>> On 15 Aug 2010, at 19:23, Young,Jeff (OR) wrote:
>> 
>>> Dan Brickley wrote:
>>>>> People in our community mistakenly believe that foaf:Person is
>>>>> unsuitable for use because of foaf:geekcode and other such
>>>> properties.
>>>>> Specialized models, including library models, are completely
>>>> arbitrary.
>>>> 
>>>> Can you say a bit more about what you mean by 'arbitrary' here?
>>> 
>>> Not easily in an email. It's a combination of philosophy and
>> experience. IMO, use cases are fundamental. Non-trivial models are
>> evolutionary and their form depends on the order in which use cases are
>> considered. Until we see how concepts are related in a formal model and
>> applied to specific use cases, we just *think* we understand each other
>> (and even ourselves). I believe that OWL/UML will make it easier for
>> people to adapt to how other people/systems/themselves think, but only
>> if the models don't expect us to believe too many arbitrary things in
>> the process.
>>> 
>>>>> I encourage you to keep your model as simple and intuitive as
>>>> possible
>>>>> and encourage specialized communities to do this instead:
>>>>> 
>>>>> ex:Person a owl:Class ;
>>>>>       owl:equivalentClass foaf:Person .
>>>> 
>>>> Yes, I've heard that concern before, and this revision contains some
>>>> steps towards addressing this.
>>>> 
>>>> * some old 'demo' and fun terms have been flagged 'archaic'
>> (although
>>>> they will remain mentioned in the spec, as it is anti-social to
>>>> pretend a piece of vocab never existed).
>>> 
>>> I agree.
>>> 
>>> Out of curiosity, why not use owl:DeprecatedProperty instead? I tried
>> to use deprecation in the VIAF OWL and couldn't figure out how to
>> preserve DL compliance. Eventually I had to abandon the stale concepts
>> or else go crazy.
>>> 
>>>> * substantial chunks of the spec's text have been moved to the Wiki;
>>>> this will continue, so the footprint of a term within the main body
>> of
>>>> the spec text can be substantially reduced. Each term has a wiki
>> page
>>>> now, as standard.
>>>> * The 'at a glance' overview of FOAF at top of spec now separates
>> the
>>>> 'Webby' properties from core people properties and is more explicit
>>>> about cultural heritage aspects use cases for FOAF.
>>>> 
>>>> I think this goes a healthy way towards reducing the perception of
>>>> needless frivolity. The project has in fact always been a quite
>>>> serious endeavour, despite the light tone. Serious both in the sense
>>>> of promoting the notion of a Web of inter-linked RDF files, but also
>>>> in terms of global ambition - I want young people discovering the
>> Web
>>>> to see a direct parallel between the friends and links they find in
>>>> modern online 'social network' contexts, and the older, sometimes
>>>> drier links that connect them via chains of collaboration,
>> friendship
>>>> and family to Paul Erdős, Marie Curie, Kevin Bacon, or Charles
>> Darwin.
>>>> And for the data to be there that makes those chains explicit and
>>>> accessible to all. So in that sense, the bridging of 'social Web'
>> and
>>>> historical data is absolutely intended. However I don't want to
>>>> embarrass anyone in a professional context with 'silly' properties,
>>>> and I feel they have served their purpose of making a fun,
>> accessible
>>>> project that felt approachable and open to experimentation. So it is
>>>> quite natural for things like 'geekcode' or 'dnaChecksum' to end up
>> as
>>>> historical footnotes now, and the emphasis to move towards finding
>> fun
>>>> things to do with the massive amounts of data we now have on hand.
>>> 
>>> I certainly agree that FOAF is serious. In hindsight, it's just funny
>> how many examples I had to run through in my head in order to believe
>> every person is a foaf:Person. It’s the same basic problem with every
>> thing being an owl:Thing. The more people who realize and trust these
>> seemingly banal assertions, the more useful they will become.
>>> 
>>>> Many of the original use cases in
>>>> http://www.foaf-project.org/original-intro stemmed from the
>> background
>>>> Libby and I had in the digital library and subject gateway
>> community,
>>>> so at the risk of repeating myself here I'd like to get to the
>> bottom
>>>> of any 'x felt they couldn't use it because y' stories that are
>>>> mentioned.
>>> 
>>> I suspect people are senselessly waiting for grand unified/normalized
>> models to emerge. I think the possibilities of this are yes and no. On
>> the local "yes" side, I think each domain should have its own
>> normalized self-conceptualization based on corporate lingo and use
>> cases. On the global "no" side, the local self-conceptualization can be
>> mapped to other popular/emergent models at runtime to communicate
>> inside and outside their community. VIAF does this a little bit today,
>> but in the future I hope we can be clearer about the conceptual
>> separations. For example:
>>> 
>>> http://viaf.org/viaf/27060791 (self-conceptualized real world object)
>>> http://viaf.org/viaf/27060791/ (self-conceptualized generic document)
>>> http://viaf.org/viaf/27060791/viaf.rdf (self-conceptualized Web
>> document)
>>> http://viaf.org/viaf/27060791/foaf.rdf (FOAF-conceptualized Web
>> document)
>>> http://viaf.org/viaf/27060791/skos.rdf (SKOS-conceptualized Web
>> document)
>>> http://viaf.org/viaf/27060791/rda.rdf (RDA-conceptualized Web
>> document)
>>> http://viaf.org/viaf/27060791/vcard.rdf (vCard-conceptualized Web
>> document)
>>> http://viaf.org/viaf/27060791/all.rdf (merged conceptualized Web
>> document)
>>> etc.
>>> 
>>> I didn't pick the self-conceptualized RWO URI, but Andy Houghton and
>> I are responsible suggesting hash URIs on the generic resource to
>> identify "foreign" RWOs w/namespace prefixes to avoid collisions:
>>> 
>>> http://viaf.org/viaf/27060791/#foaf:Person
>>> 
>>> (I wish these hash URIs were wired up to do something useful in the
>> HTML representation.)
>>> 
>>> Regardless, this is a generalizable model that would allow systems to
>> "conjure up" new conceptualizations from legacy conceptualizations
>> without redesigning physical data models or breaking legacy system
>> dependencies. I suspect this is an extremely valuable pattern, so I
>> will write it up as an LLD XG use case after my vacation.
>>> 
>>>> Other things I've heard mentioned are that there is no long
>>>> term organizational backing behind the namespace yet, or that it
>> isn't
>>>> a 'proper standard' of some kind. The more explicit people are when
>>>> describing obstacles, the more active we can be in addressing them.
>>> 
>>> I assume organizational backing would be the death of FOAF because
>> "they" will almost certainly load it down with debatable
>> "improvements". :-/
>>> 
>>> Jeff
>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> All that said, it is of course more than fine to express a link to
>> the
>>>> Web of FOAF data via owl:equivalentClass.
>>>> 
>>>> cheers,
>>>> 
>>>> Dan
>>> 
>> 
> 
Received on Monday, 16 August 2010 08:13:00 UTC

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