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RE: Review schema for books and short stories.

From: Greg Hullender <greg_hullender@hotmail.com>
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2016 22:13:59 +0000
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@google.com>, Alex McKee <alex@agmckee.co.uk>
CC: schema.org Mailing List <public-schemaorg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BY2PR20MB032687961D45FA1E860E31CDE2930@BY2PR20MB0326.namprd20.prod.outlook.com>
As far as writing reviews for short stories in magazines, anthologies, and collections, its definitely challenging. I review the stories independently, so I use isPartOf but if you wanted to review a whole magazine with different scores for each story on a single page, then youd probably use hasPart.

I still wish there were a distinction between a written work (like a story) and a publication (like an anthology). Its like the difference between an egg and an egg carton, so its rather annoying that were forced to treat them as the same thing.


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From: Dan Brickley<mailto:danbri@google.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 10, 2016 2:29 PM
To: Alex McKee<mailto:alex@agmckee.co.uk>
Cc: schema.org Mailing List<mailto:public-schemaorg@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Review schema for books and short stories.

On 8 April 2016 at 11:26, Alex McKee <alex@agmckee.co.uk<mailto:alex@agmckee.co.uk>> wrote:

Bear in mind that older books often do not have an ISBN. Anything published before the mid 1960s will have no ISBN. So I strongly oppose making ISBN required.

I agree. Most importantly, even if all books in the universe have ISBNs, that doesn't mean that everyone with useful book data always has that information. And more generally let me emphasize something important: schema.org<http://schema.org> itself does not make anything required, all (*) it does is provide definitions for terms you can use in structured data.

The best practical analogy for understanding the role of schema.org<http://schema.org> is the dictionary. It would be easy to take this too literally and get side-tracked into debating meaning and machine understanding and the nature of language and so on, but the main point is just this: a dictionary gives short summaries of how terms are used and combined, but it does not tell you what to say. A dictionary does not care about whether you have said too much, or too little. That is not its role, and it would not be good at that role. A dictionary can help sometimes in understanding when you have said something self-contradictory, but it is generally of limited use for understanding whether you have said something intelligible or useful or coherent. Schema.org is similar: it gives some definitions that can be used for saying things via structured data, but it has no notion of there being required pieces of information.

The closest we get are the numerous examples posted on the site, which are provided for several reasons. 1.) as a gentle nudge towards establishing common patterns for combining terms 2.) as an alternate form of documentation of the meaning of terms and how they can be combined to represent sometimes complex situations 3.) as a practical way to help teach the underlying syntaxes that are used by schema.org<http://schema.org> (i.e. Microdata, RDFa, JSON-LD).

It is quite reasonable, on top of all this, for specific tools, services and products to have their own stricter data requirements. So e.g. some bibliographic systems might be unable to do something useful unless you give them an ISBN, and might at that level have a requirement for ISBNs in the data. But lacking the ISBN is not a fault with the data, only with its suitability to some practical task. As far as Google's Structured Data Testing Tool goes, its validation 'errors' are very much in this style: it often doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with your data as such, just that it lacks something needed for a particular product or feature.



p.s. I wrote about this a long time ago in a different setting, https://web.archive.org/web/20031003223643/http://rdfweb.org/mt/foaflog/archives/000047.html ... and more recently for https://www.w3.org/2012/12/rdf-val/ in a position paper with Shawn Simister, https://www.w3.org/2001/sw/wiki/images/0/00/SimpleApplication-SpecificConstraintsforRDFModels.pdf - which is why Holger's exploration at https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-schemaorg/2016Mar/0077.html is interesting. It might be possible to use W3C SHACL as a way to capture the requirements and patterns of sites and services that *consume* schema.org<http://schema.org> in a machine processable way.

p.p.s. (*) I slightly over-stated the case. the schema.org<http://schema.org> Actions mechanism http://schema.org/Action http://schema.org/docs/actions.html does actually touch on these issues -- it is the only place where schema.org<http://schema.org> crosses over from describing the world to indicating how to actually effect changes in the world. As such we defined some lightweight mechanisms inspired by HTML form validation that are used to indicate which pieces of information are needed to request that a potentialAction actually happen. Something like SHACL could also be an interesting technology to apply to this usecase.

On 05/04/2016 04:26, Ali Kayn wrote:
I do reviews.  For a collection I still use 'author' for the editor, as a broader interpretation of the word.

I absolutely support requiring an ISBN for books.  Books and Magazines (ISSN) are specific object that are required to be archived  by state and national libraries.

SameAs can be a bit harder to track down.  Sometimes books and stories are listed on author sites, sometimes they are listed on Amazon or Wikipedia.

Reviewing short stories within collections looks like something not yet considered.  If you do stories within a collection or a magazine, can you use itemlist?


ALi Kayn
Editor and Publisher
Festivale Online Magazine

twitter:  @ali_festivale

GPO Box 1510

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Received on Sunday, 10 April 2016 22:14:31 UTC

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