[SKOS] comments on SKOS Primer 2008-02-12

Dear Antoine, Ed,

I've finally had a chance to go through the SKOS Primer in detail, 
apologies for not doing so sooner. Here are a few comments on the 
2008-02-12 edition of the SKOS Primer, I hope these are useful for 
subsequent revisions.

In a nutshell, I really like this document. I think it is just the right 
length, style, tone and level of detail, and I enthusiastically support 
its publication as-is.

The only two sections I think need further discussion are sections 3.1 
and 3.2.

Section 3.1 (re-using and extending concept schemes) is an important 
section, I like the way it's written and I think we should say as much 
as we can on this subject. One difficulty, however, is that the pattern 
described in the first half of the section, where skos:inScheme is used 
to "include" individual concepts from another scheme, relies upon a 
particular URI dereference behaviour for resources of type skos:Concept. 
As yet, we have not defined any best practice or minimum required URI 
dereference behaviour for resources of type skos:Concept, so there is a 
potential issue here. I've created an issue in the SWD tracker as a 
placeholder for this: http://www.w3.org/2006/07/SWD/track/issues/86 . 
I'm not sure what priority we should give this, I'd be happy to take 
advice from the WG.

Section 3.2 (mapping concept schemes) is also an important section, and 
again I think we should say as much as we can. The only part of this 
section that is potentially problematic is the final paragraph, which 
recommends the use of SKOS mapping properties to "overlay" additional 
structure on "someone else's" concept scheme (my quotes). I'll talk 
about this more in relation to issue 74, but for now I just wanted to 
flag this up as an idea I've not seen before reading the SKOS Primer.

The rest of my comments are editorial and mostly nit-picks.

In the SKOS Reference, we opted to talk about the "SKOS data model" in 
place of the "SKOS semantics".

Section 2.1

"Concepts denote ideas or meanings..." -- as I understand the term 
"denotation", symbols (e.g. URIs) denote, concepts do not.

"...introduces the skos:Concept RDFS clss..." -- remove "RDFS"

Section 2.2.2

Maybe add a note at the end of the section that guidance on the 
construction of KOS is generally beyond the scope of SKOS, with 
reference to ISO 2788, BS 8723 etc.

Section 2.3

(First bullet) Maybe add a caveat that not all part-whole relationships 
are suitable as hierarchical relationships, with link to relevant 
section(s) of ISO 2788, BS 8723 etc.

Section 3.1

We should probably come up with a more concrete example than 
"nicePlatypus" and "badPlatypus" :)

Section 3.3

Maybe ex:painter or something similar, instead of ex:title, as an 
example of defining a property on the class?

Section 4.1

"SKOS Core" -- the only time "Core" is added to "SKOS".

Section 4.1.3

s/concepts place/concept's place/

Section 4.7

transitiveBroader, raised already.

Kind regards,


Alistair Miles
Senior Computing Officer
Image Bioinformatics Research Group
Department of Zoology
The Tinbergen Building
University of Oxford
South Parks Road
United Kingdom
Web: http://purl.org/net/aliman
Email: alistair.miles@zoo.ox.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1865 281993

Received on Friday, 22 February 2008 05:44:32 UTC