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Re: Vocab terms for owner, validFrom and validUntil

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Fri, 04 May 2012 09:58:36 -0400
Message-ID: <4FA3E08C.8000407@digitalbazaar.com>
To: public-rdf-wg@w3.org
On 05/04/2012 01:44 AM, Dan Brickley wrote:
>> We have created 3 terms for the PaySwarm vocabulary that we think
>> may be better off in the rdf or rdfs vocabulary. They have to do
>> with "resources" on the Web.
> What's a "resource"?
> rdfs:Resource is a synonym for the word Thing; nothing isn't one.

Basically, an rdfs:Resource. Yes, nothing isn't one... except for
nothing, which isn't one. :P

>> The first is the canonical "owner" of a resource on the Web. Keep
>> in mind that this is different from dc:creator and those types of
>> expressions. It could be used to establish the owner of a financial
>> account (that uses a web address), a public key that is published
>> to the Web, or a variety of other pieces of information that
>> "belong" to an IRI identifier (like a person's identifier).
> Do these diverse examples ever disagree, overlap?

What do you mean by "disagree"? Are you asking whether two things could
state two different things about who their owner is? If so, then yes -
just like any other statement in RDF.

Are you asking if the concept of an "owner" is subtly different in each
of these cases - perhaps, but when we have that case, we become more
specific and create a new vocabulary term - like "primaryOwner".

> Who 'owns' my Facebook account?


> W3C user account?

W3C, I presume.

> An apartment i'm renting

The person that has legal dominion over the apartment.

> or a page about it?

The person that owns the copyright on the page.

> A wiki page?

Depends on the license, but most likely the community, the public
domain, or the company that runs the wiki.

> My user page on a wiki?

Same as above.

> Do some things not have such an owner?

Some things don't have an owner - like the earth, or the concept of honor.

> Can ownership be joint, either by the owner being a group or abstract
> agent, or by 2+ things being in that relationship at same time?

Yes, and I don't see why not.

>> The second and third are validity periods for particular pieces of
>>  information - like when is an offer for a good or service valid
>> from/to? When was a home address valid from/to? When was a public
>> key valid from/to?
> By valid, do you mean true? Is the assumption that -was once not
> true/valid -was true/valid -at some point stops being so ... is a
> central pattern worth documenting? Even if it doesn't capture eg
> more cyclical patterns?

By valid, I mean that you can count on the information to be accurate
based on what the claimant is stating. "True" is something slightly
different. I do think this is worth documenting in a core "RDF
vocabulary", even if it doesn't catch the edge cases like cyclical
validity patterns.

>> When describing resources on the Web, these three items seem like
>> they'd be vital for establishing ownership and information
>> validity periods. Should they go in the RDF or RDFS vocabulary?
> Why elevate these use cases above others?

Because they are core to many different types of usages of RDF.
Ownership is a universal concept, so is validity of statements made.

> For example, describing what a  piece of information is 'about' is
> quite important too. Why not add dc:subject plus SKOS into the core?
That's another discussion, which I'm not interested in having (but is
worth having). We have never used dc:subject, nor have we ever used
SKOS. That sort of meta-modeling is something that we have not found
useful for the purposes of the Web Payments work.

> Or the most useful bits from OWL?

We've never had to resort to using OWL except for stuff like owl:Thing.
It's been largely not useful to our work on Web Payments.

> Do you have draft schema definitions for these proposals?

Not yet, but I could create them. I wanted to pass it by this group to
see if it was something that was of interest.

> Historically rdf/rdfs vocab has been kept pretty minimalist. I doubt
> you'll find much enthusiasm for changing that policy at this stage
> (including rechartering WG etc).

It would be nice to not have to re-charter a group to add a few
vocabulary terms to a vocabulary. This is exactly what we were afraid of
happening when we discussed this on the PaySwarm call:


> That said I'd be happy to pick up this thread with a schema.org or
> FOAF hat on; there are important distinctions lurking here and worth
> having in a mainstream schema somewhere.

Please don't put it in schema.org and please don't put it in FOAF - this
is far more integral to the core of how we describe things on the Web.
Who owns a resource and for how long are the statements associated with
a resource valid.

-- manu

Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: PaySwarm Website for Developers Launched
Received on Friday, 4 May 2012 13:59:13 UTC

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