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[SKOS] Re: TR : W3C SKOS Reference Last Call (3 days left in comment period)

From: Antoine Isaac <aisaac@few.vu.nl>
Date: Sat, 07 Feb 2009 15:01:02 +0100
Message-ID: <498D941E.4060609@few.vu.nl>
To: SWD WG <public-swd-wg@w3.org>

Hi all,

We got a very late comment from Magnus Knuth on the ESW list [1]
I PROPOSE to open two issues (one on the Primer, on for the SKOS Reference and companion RDF document) to take them into account: I guess that with the status change to CR, we also would enter a comment period...

Note that I also PROPOSE a draft answer to Magnus (see below) -- this seemed straighforward to write, so I just did it.

We could accept both proposals at the same time in next Tuesday's telecon.




Dear Magnus,

Thank you for your feedback in [1]:

 * in the SKOS Primer (2008-08-29) Chap. 2.2.1 last sentence should 
tell "..., it is therefore recommended that no two concepts in the same 
KOS be given the same preferred lexical label --in any two given 
languages-- __in any given language__." (might be a typo)

Well, we cannot apply this recommendation, since we sometimes have 
different concepts with identical prefLabel, e.g. ex:football_(sport) 
and ex:football_(ball) both having skos:prefLabel "football", i.e. we 
don't want to disambiguate these concept by their prefLabel but by 
further characteristics as their definition or altLabel.
Same would apply, when you collect alternative definitions for a term 
resulting in different concepts, e.g. the medical term "sepsis" is 
defined in various variants from "inflammatory infection" over "blood 
poisoning" to "infection with organ dysfunction", and medics use it in 
such various manner.

So please leave it an informal recommendation.

 * in the SKOS RDF (2008-05-xx and 2008-08-29) #prefLabel the comment 
should tell therefore "No two concepts in the same concept scheme 
--may-- __should__ have the same value for skos:prefLabel in a given 
language." (according RFC 2119)


We understand your concern here. The SKOS Primer has undergone revisions since the 2008-08-29 Working Draft. But we have always kept to having the preferred label unicity as an informal recommendation, since we are aware of use cases where the rules defined for thesauri do not apply. The latest Primer Working Draft [2] indeed reads:
Following common practice in KOS design, the preferred label of a concept may also be used to unambiguously represent this concept within a KOS and its applications. So even though the SKOS data model does not formally enforce it, it is recommended that no two concepts in the same KOS be given the same preferred lexical label for any given language tag.

We feel that this suits your recommendation, and propose to *close ISSUE-XX* making no change to the existing SKOS documents. Please note that following a previous discussion on what a "language" should be in the context of SKOS and RDF, we have changed the formulation where you suggested that there was a typo.

The latter part of this comment suggests that the comment on skos:prefLabel in the SKOS RDF file should follow this informal recommendation. This is a very valueable observation, and we propose to *close ISSUE-YY* by having the comment now read:
It is recommended that no two concepts in the same KOS be given the same preferred lexical label for any given language tag.

We hope these answers satisfy your concerns.

Best regards,


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-esw-thes/2009Feb/0014.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/2006/07/SWD/SKOS/primer/primer-20090113.html
Received on Saturday, 7 February 2009 14:01:43 UTC

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