Re: [SKOS] notations, label and their range (was Re: some thoughts about the OWL WG comments)

Antoine and Sean, hello.

On 2008 Oct 14, at 10:20, Antoine Isaac wrote:

>>> By the way cc Norman Gray, as this conflicts a bit with what I've  
>>> previously written to him
>> It would be very useful to have Norman's comments on this.
> Well at the beginning he was using plain literals with notations,  
> but with the Reference as it is now worded I really did not have any  
> difficulties convincing him that he was wrong :-/
>>    Sean

I come at this, not as someone wanting to create a SKOS vocabulary,  
but as someone recommending how other people should.

The Virtual Observatory community is working on a recommendation [1]  
for how vocabularies might be made interoperable, and that's  
recommending using SKOS.  This document motivates this decision, gives  
specific advice on how to do this (effectively creating a SKOS  
profile, though we don't put it like that), and how to serve the  
vocabulary on the web (303s, and all that).

We expect the readership of the document to be (people within)  
organisations which have a vocabulary they think could be usefully  
shared with the astronomy community, but who are not primarily  
interested in SKOS or the semantic web, and who will therefore  
probably not read the SKOS documents themselves (despite our  
exhortations to do that).  We therefore hope to keep things as simple  
as possible.

Our example vocabularies are therefore, for better or for worse,  
probably going to be rather influential within this community.  One of  
the things on my list is to put together an 'astronomy vocabulary  
validator' on-line, to help folk check for conformance with our spec.   
With this hat on, I'm not hugely interested in the detailed semantics  
or processing of SKOS notations, but only concerned to do as much of  
The Right Thing as our readership will let us get away with.

We originally had skos:notation illustrated without any typing.   
Antoine sent me some very useful comments on the document, to which I  
responded with [2], in which I supposed that

   skos:notation "1.2.3"^^<#notation> .
   dc:description "The notation is defined in the document http://foo/bar.pdf 
  " .

would be a reasonable solution, apparently conformant with the letter  
of [3].  I don't think I want to make our recommendations any more  
complicated than that.  If I start talking about XSchema datatypes in  
the 'notation', I think some of our readers may switch off, and simply  
not bother cutting-and-pasting that part of our templates.

Best wishes,

[turning into a pragmatist in his old age -- where's the fire in that;  
where the wild staring eyes, and the zeal to Burn the Heretic...?]

[1] and  
'editors' draft' snapshot at

Norman Gray  :
Dept Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester

Received on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 11:13:17 UTC