RE: FRBR and classes ('frbr:Works in the age of mechanical reproduction'...)

Thinking of FRBR as "over-engineered" perhaps mistakenly focuses on casual readers and on inventory management issues.

If our *Cultural Heritage* mission (as opposed to a marketing, entertainment, or advertisement mission) is to "collect the dots and then connect the dots" through our resource descriptions, we require the ability to create resource descriptions that serve the needs of  -> and incorporate the more sophisticated resource descriptions created by <- scholarly and educational users.

We should keep the above point focus, and recall that our main job is user needs and not making IT people's jobs easier. IT is supposed to respond to requirements and
*not* assume that their limits and system predilections are ours. RDF is primarily an IT-level invention that *assumes* things about high-level resource description. We are demonstrating that some of their assumptions are insufficient to what we can demonstrate to be the case.

Ron Murray (via Barbara Tillett)

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of William Waites
Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2011 12:51 PM
To: Dan Brickley
Cc: public-lld
Subject: Re: FRBR and classes ('frbr:Works in the age of mechanical reproduction'...)

Dan, very much appreciate your thoughts. I have to say that in my experience trying to describe books in RDF, and not being a librarian, this seems the right approach.

We tried using FRBR and basically found it over-engineered.
Trying to make an application where people take books and annotate them and organise them into reading lists and collections, FRBR just introduces too much irrelevant abstraction and gets in the way. This is why we use bibo, which has "book in the usual sense" and could be understood in terms of what you have described with owl classes and punning (if you imagine an implied :ficciones a owl:Class).

I also agree with Karen that this is much closer conceptually to MARC then WEMI. Perhaps that is as it should be. To me, again as a non-librarian, the rules for when something is a new work or expression or manifestation seem at best arbitrary or at worst simply wrong on a philosophical or artistic level. MARC might be ambiguous in some ways and libraries might have a bad habit of shoehorning data into fields where it doesn't really belong but it does make sense intuitively.

So given that we have enormous amounts of data floating around in MARC or similar related formats probably the most directly useful thing that could be done with these data is to transform them into a simple, relatively flat RDF format (not unlike bibo) without introducing dubious abstraction. The data would then be directly reuseable and could be understood "in the usual sense" (hand wave, hand wave).

William Waites                <>        <>
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Received on Monday, 21 March 2011 14:20:18 UTC