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Re: prov-xml review for release as a FPWD

From: James Cheney <jcheney@inf.ed.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2012 15:22:37 +0000
Cc: "public-prov-wg@w3.org" <public-prov-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <78A41BAC-5669-43B2-B7CE-22A76B5E8E49@inf.ed.ac.uk>
To: Luc Moreau <L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>

I've had a quick look over the draft.  I haven't had time to check all of the details against prov-dm, so apologies if some comments are off-target; I thought it might be helpful to give a rapid response since I'm traveling from Tuesday next week.

> - can the document be released as a fpwd

I think so

> - if not, what are the blocking issues?


> - are they other issues to address.

Here are some comments / questions that I think are worth discussing but probably not serious enough to block release.

- "PROV-DM-CONSTRAINTS" is now called "PROV-CONSTRAINTS".  Some of the boilerplate under "Status of this document" and in sec. 1 seems out of date.

- I see that id's are attributes, but most other parameters (and all attributes) to the various prov-dm relations are represented as elements.  I would find it more natural to use attributes for the ids and all of the positional parameters, since they are always flat data (to my knowledge).  For example:

<prov:wasGeneratedBy prov:entity="e1" prov:activity="a1" prov:time="...">

I realize this is a somewhat arbitrary decision, but is there a reason for using elements for these I'm not seeing?

- I think it might be helpful to give a paragraph or two sketching the design, and perhaps justifying certain design choices (e.g. use of elements vs. attributes, and the need for PROV-DM "attributes"/key-value pairs to be represented as elements here, since there can be multiple copies of the same key with different values).

- It isn't clear to me whether there are uniqueness or existence restrictions on the ids.  There don't seem to be any such restrictions, which seems fine.  But in the example of "mentionOf", it is strange that ex:run2 is declared as a bundle, but mention requires the bundle parameter to be an entity reference.  If there are no further constraints (i.e. the different types of references are structurally the same but have different names for documentation purposes) this is probably fine.  

- I haven't checked each relation to ensure it's aligned with PROV-DM, but expect this has been done already.  Are the element/attribute parameter names aligned with those used in prov-o?  They mostly seem to be, but this is also worth checking.

- In the "usage" example, a ">" is garbled maybe as &ltgt;

- In 2.1.7, missing comma after "ender"

- In 2.3, "second component" should be "third component"

- In 2.3.4,  "</prov:wasAssociatedWithv" - v should be ">"

- While this schema provides a natural "flat" way to represent PROV-N data, I am curious if there are natural ways to leverage XML's nested structure (much as XML schema allows writing types in a "nested" way which can also be flattened out using type names).  Other than possibly allowing entity statements to be embedded inside collections, it's not clear to me how this would work, so no action seems necessary, it's just an idle question.

- In most/all types carrying an id, the id attribute is declared last.  Is there a reason it is not first (since it's an attribute, its position in the type doesn't matter, but it would be nice for all of the attributes to be in the same order as in PROV-DM).

- The various time elements are required to be xsd:dateTime type, which I'm not sure is required in PROV-DM (but haven't checked).

- many of the types have the same allowed attributes; these could probably be factored out as named complex types, to avoid duplication.

-The group "documentElements" might be named "instance", which is the term used for a set of statements in prov-constraints (but maybe documentElements is clearer)


On Nov 1, 2012, at 4:39 PM, Luc Moreau wrote:

> Dear all,
> We need some volunteer to review the prov-xml document [1].
> James and I have volunteered to review the document. It would be nice
> to have other reviewers.  Please respond to this email.
> The questions to reviewers are:
> - can the document be released as a fpwd
> - if not, what are the blocking issues?
> - are they other issues to address.
> The deadline is Thursday Nov 8th, ahead of the face to face meeting,
> so that the group can decide whether the document can be released or not.
> Regards,
> Luc
> [1] http://dvcs.w3.org/hg/prov/raw-file/default/xml/prov-xml.html
> -- 
> Professor Luc Moreau
> Electronics and Computer Science   tel:   +44 23 8059 4487
> University of Southampton          fax:   +44 23 8059 2865
> Southampton SO17 1BJ               email: l.moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk
> United Kingdom                     http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~lavm

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
Received on Friday, 2 November 2012 15:23:12 GMT

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