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ISSUE-175 Last Call Comment: SKOS namespace change question II

From: Sean Bechhofer <sean.bechhofer@manchester.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2008 17:07:21 +0000
Message-Id: <FF8D9AB3-8C31-4A9D-BCB5-26C9841F739C@manchester.ac.uk>
Cc: <public-swd-wg@w3.org>
To: Jeremy Carroll <jeremy@topquadrant.com>

Dear Jeremy,

thanks for your comment [1]:

     *  The URI of the SKOS namespace. The current draft introduces a  
namespace for the SKOS vocabulary. Comments have been made that this  
may cause
difficulty for existing SKOS implementations or vocabularies. As a  
result, the
choice of SKOS namespace should be considered "at risk of change".

Any implementators using a namespace URI in a WD have been warned of  
change before Rec.
Conventionally this means that the terms in the namespace or their  
meaning might
change, and the namespace URI remains unchanged. So if I had been  
part of the WG
when the namespace URI changed, I would have been opposed, however  
that's water
under the bridge and the argument cuts both ways!


This was an issue that has been debated at length in the WG (see for  
example [2,3]) and the WG have seen merit in both options. The Last  
Call Draft proposes a new namespace. Recent discussions [4] have seen  
the WG return to a position where the SKOS vocabulary would be  
defined using the existing namespace URI.

We do not intend to change the property names of the key semantic  
relations skos:broader and skos:narrower, as it was felt that this  
would effectively negate any benefit from retaining the namespace.  
This will, however, result in a change to the semantics of these  
relationships. However, as highlighted in [5], in principle  
applications should be able to make use of the machine-readable  
published schema. There may be impact on previously published  
vocabularies, which users will need to be made aware of. Note also  
that "old" vocabulary (for example skos:subject) will no longer be  
defined in the skos namespace. Historical versions of the schema  
will, however still be made available (although not at the SKOS  
namespace URI).

Our proposal is thus to revert to the original SKOS namespace URI,  
and to add an appendix to the reference document (see [6]) discussing  
the issues above.

Are you happy with this solution?


	Sean Bechhofer
	Alistair Miles

[ISSUE-175] http://www.w3.org/2006/07/SWD/track/issues/175
[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-swd-wg/2008Oct/0077.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-swd-wg/2008Apr/0032.html
[3] http://www.w3.org/2006/07/SWD/wiki/SkosDesign/RdfSchema
[4] http://www.w3.org/2008/10/07-swd-minutes.html#item05
[5] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-swd-wg/2008Oct/0036.html
[6] http://www.w3.org/2006/07/SWD/SKOS/reference/20081001/#app-namespace

Sean Bechhofer
School of Computer Science
University of Manchester
Received on Tuesday, 2 December 2008 17:09:48 UTC

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