Re: Datatypes with no (cool) URI

Again, thanks everyone for the quick and useful responses.

@Gannon, @Andy - you are right that the issue of sex/gender is far from 
straightforward (they're not even the same thing I've learned!) However, 
I need to offer 'something' even if it's not ideal and then work on the 
longer term.

@Sarven - SDMX looks very useful indeed, hadn't seen that they cover 
gender - great.

But it doesn't answer the more general point (I was using sex/gender as 
an example - there are other terms for which the value space should be a 
controlled vocabulary that doesn't necessarily have a URI).

Here's my plan of action:

Short term: the limitation here is that all I'm chartered/empowered to 
do is to define the terms (actually I'm planning to use schema:gender). 
I am not, and I don't believe the EU (current project paymasters) or the 
GLD WG/W3C more generally is not, in a position to set up some sort of 
de-referencing system. Even setting up Purls means that we're in effect 
condoning a value space (and I have at least 3 on my radar for just this 
term alone - Gannon pointed to some useful info from LoC which might 
make 4, plus SDMX makes 5).

So I'm going to have to fudge it for now and say 'provide an identifier' 
and may leave it at that. I'd like to offer more guidance but it may not 
be sensible to do so (and btw. these vocabularies have to work in XML as 
well as RDF).

Longer term... I think I'll drop a line to Norman Paskin at the DOI 


On 03/04/2012 16:22, John Erickson wrote:
> Gannon raises a valid point, BUT it is important to remember that ISO
> is a *publisher* and DOI is fundamentally a publishing industry thing.
> So while they might not be inclined to support Cool URIs for their own
> sake, they might be DOI adopters for the sake of The Bottom Line...
> On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 11:19 AM, Gannon Dick<>  wrote:
>> There are just some things outside of the Web's bailiwick, and the
>> properties of people in that class.  The problem is that you are never sure
>> if you are naming the property on rudely calling the property holder names.
>> ISO declines to play, the LOC declines differently
>> and simple classes don't
>> exist.  I think you've hit a limit, not on Cool Uri's necessarily, but maybe
>> on philosophy.
>> ________________________________
>> From: John Erickson<>
>> To: David Booth<>
>> Cc: Phil Archer<>; ""<>
>> Sent: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 9:53 AM
>> Subject: Re: Datatypes with no (cool) URI
>> On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 10:38 AM, David Booth<>  wrote:
>>> On Tue, 2012-04-03 at 14:33 +0100, Phil Archer wrote:
>>>> [ . . . ] The actual URI for it is
>>>> (or rather, that's the page about the spec but that's a side issue for
>>>> now).
>>>> That URI is just horrible and certainly not a 'cool URI'. The Eurostat
>>>> one is no better.
>>>> Does the datatype URI have to resolve to anything (in theory no, but in
>>>> practice? Would a URN be appropriate?
>>> It's helpful to be able to click on the URI to figure out what exactly
>>> was meant.  How about just using a URI shortener, such as or
>> David's good point raises an even bigger point: why isn't ISO minting
>> DOI's for specs?
>> Or, at least, why can't ISO manage a DOI-equivalent space that would
>> rein-in bogusly-long URIs, make them more manageable, and perhaps more
>> functional e.g. CrossRef's Linked Data-savvy DOI proxy
>> <>
>> --
>> John S. Erickson, Ph.D.
>> Director, Web Science Operations
>> Tetherless World Constellation (RPI)
>> <>  <>
>> Twitter&  Skype: olyerickson


Phil Archer
W3C eGovernment
+44 (0)7887 767755

Received on Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:59:17 UTC