W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > May 2007

Re: vCard/iCalendar RDF process document 2007-04-06

From: Bruce D'Arcus <bdarcus@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 1 May 2007 14:37:54 -0400
Message-Id: <8308461ccf3262f2c1e87ec919b77470@gmail.com>
Cc: Kjetil Kjernsmo <kjetil@kjernsmo.net>, semantic-web@w3.org
To: Garret Wilson <garret@globalmentor.com>

On May 1, 2007, at 2:08 PM, Garret Wilson wrote:


>>> 2. Which of the following representations do you prefer: 
>>> <vcard:familyName>bin Muhammad bin 'Awad bin 
>>> Laden</vcard:familyName> or <vcard:familyName>bin Muhammad,bin 
>>> 'Awad,bin Laden</vcard:familyName> (i.e. the family name components 
>>> separated by some delimiter)?
>> I'm fairly ignorant of Arabic, but would tend to say the first.
> If your choice is the former, don't you find it unsettling that "van 
> Buren" is ambiguous as to whether there is one family name of "van 
> Buren" or two family names of "van" and "Buren"? The situation is 
> Arabic is analogous.

But this is a really slippery slope, isn't it?

Consider that both "van" and "bin" are not in fact either family or 
given names, but rather articulars, often not included in sorting.

Yet vCard has no support for articular names. So isn't the question in 
this case which representation is more wrong, rather than which is 

And if we assume order in a list denotes preference, what does that do 
for this example ("Osama bin Muhammad bin 'Awad bin Laden"), where the 
last family name would be the preferred?

>> I'd defer for sorting logic to the sort string property.
> Sorting is not my worry here---it's in losing semantics that were 
> present in the original vCard.

OK; fair enough.


>> Mind you, I'm not dismissing the real world difficulties here. I want 
>> to use this stuff for bibliographic data for citation purposes, where 
>> display and sorting is very important. But I'd much prefer a simpler 
>> approach if at all possible.
> No arguments there. In fact, I'd like to use a simple framework, if at 
> all possible---and RDF is not a simple framework. (It's arguably 
> horribly convoluted.) But my creating my own semantic framework won't 
> help interoperability. My feeling is that a single-cardinality-or-list 
> is the simplest we can get *and* work with real-world data using the 
> semantic framework we've been thrown.

Would be interesting to pull out of those tricky real world examples 
and see how they look in the different approaches.


> So... what is your answer to question #6? ;)

You want to know what I would do with:


I'd do this:

<vcard:n rdf:resource="Resource">
   <vcard:other-name>Philip Paul</vcard:other-name>

> Garret
> P.S. The whole problem here is that we are using RDF to model 
> real-world data. :)

Actually, the problem isn't really RDF. The same problems attend to 
form GUIs, relational databases, etc. The problem is trying to 
represent real world data in all its culturally-specific variabiliity 
in ways that machines don't butcher :-)

Received on Tuesday, 1 May 2007 18:37:53 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Tuesday, 5 July 2022 08:45:00 UTC