Re: FictionalThing proposal added to Web Schemas wiki


On 19/02/2013 15:00, "LeVan,Ralph" <> wrote:

> Not only is it slippery, but potentially offensive.  As I think over the
> list of names described as fictional in WorldCat Identities, I run into
> polite variants.  "Deity" for instance.  Is Krishna "fictional"?  We
> have his as a "Hindu deity".  Using this markup, are we going to mark
> them as fictional, or have to propose another property?

We need to separate the ability to describe things using a vocabulary from
how whoever may use that vocabulary to describe things in a way that offends

Applying attributes such as fictional to a description is the choice of the
publisher of that information, as would be the choice to also recognise it
in the data published.

> Looking at the list of most frequently occurring words for our Subject
> names, I see that the top one is not "fictitious", but "character".
> That looks to me like the library community has made a distinction
> between them over the years.  Are we going to combine them here?  (Yes,
> I know this is better discussed on the Bibframe list, but the subject
> came up here.)  

If you read back in the discussions about this, 'character' although
theoretically it could be represented as a Person that is fictional, is to
be proposed as it has special meaning in the context of movies books etc.

In those discussions, it was recognised that other fictional things may need
to be described which only implementing a Character type would not address.

> Other top terms include: deity, legendary, mythology,
> biblical, and imaginary.  As you can see, these are words to dance
> around the use of "fictional".

Guidance in the vocabulary description may well help with those concerns.

> Honestly, I'm not sure where to come down here.  I like the proposal for
> a fictional attribute.  I'm just not sure that we can give clear
> guidance on where it should be used.

Guidance for the use descriptive terms can only be that, guidance  - it is
impossible to legislate against its misinterpretation by people with a
specific view to further that view - just like the rest of the web ;-)

> Ralph
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On Behalf Of Ed
> Summers
> Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 9:29 AM
> To: Wallis,Richard
> Cc: Michael Hopwood; Dawson, Laura; Martin Hepp; Thad Guidry; Web
> Schemas TF; Gregg Kellogg
> Subject: Re: FictionalThing proposal added to Web Schemas wiki
> I agree with Martin about "fictional" being a pretty slippery slope.
> But I am kind of curious about how people who are advocating for
> FictionalThing anticipate it getting used.
> //Ed
> On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 9:19 AM, Richard Wallis
> <> wrote:
>> In pure data terms I partly agree with you - there is no difference
>> between the description of a real or fictional thing.  Except one of
>> them has the attribute of being fictional.
>> In describing an identity, especially from the world of creative
>> works, there is an obvious difference between real and fictional
>> things - which we humans are interested in and need to describe.
>> For example the first line from Sir John Falstaff's Wikipedia entry
> reads:
>> "Sir John Falstaff is a fictional character who appears in ...."
>> It is fine for him to have an ISNI, something that could link to a
>> description that indicates that he is fictional.
>> The fact that James White, used the same string of characters as a
>> pseudonym is an attribute of the descriptions of each of them - not an
>> attribute of the name itself.
>> This proposal came out of need to describe characters, or other
> fictional
>> things, in film/tv metadata.   A need that I believe is more generic
> than
>> that focussed requirement.
>> ~Richard.
>> On 19/02/2013 13:32, "Michael Hopwood" <> wrote:
>>> Hmmm. I've followed this fascinating thread at a distance but I
>>> thought it's a reasonable point to chime in; it's not so much the
>>> edge cases, it's that in this context, everything is an edge case.
>>> In all the relevant ontologies and schemas I've dealt with, there
>>> simply is no fundamental difference; for example, Sir John Falstaff
>>> has an ISNI, although he's fictional; he's also a literary pseudonym
> of James White...
>>> The reason for this is that in data, you don't describe actual people
>>> (maybe FOAF or VCARD are exceptions), you describe public identities.
>>> You can only tell the real ones from the fictional from their
>>> relationships; their properties are the same.
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Dawson, Laura []
>>> Sent: 19 February 2013 12:50
>>> To: Martin Hepp
>>> Cc: Thad Guidry; Richard Wallis; Web Schemas TF; Gregg Kellogg
>>> Subject: Re: FictionalThing proposal added to Web Schemas wiki
>>> There are many edge cases, but I think there are enough
>>> straightforward cases to warrant the attempt.

Received on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 15:19:55 UTC