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Re: Vocabularies for content keyword classification?

From: Alistair Miles <alistair.miles@zoo.ox.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2009 15:57:28 +0100
To: John Graybeal <graybeal@mbari.org>
Cc: Ed Summers <ehs@pobox.com>, Peter Krantz <peter.krantz@gmail.com>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20090402145728.GE32195@skiathos>
Hi John,

On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 06:23:50PM -0700, John Graybeal wrote:
> Can someone sum up for this list whether the actual semantic meaning of 
> existing 2004/02/skos concepts (I mean, URIs) will be changed, or  
> whether they will mint new URIs within that space?  I started looking at 
> the references and an hour later hadn't gotten much closer to a concise 
> answer.

The SKOS Reference Candidate Recommendation is now available at:


A new draft of the companion SKOS Primer is also now available at:


The WG decided to use the http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/core#
namespace for everything except the SKOS eXtension for Labels (XL),
which uses the http://www.w3.org/2008/05/skos-xl# namespace.

The decision to revert to the 2004/02/skos/core# namespace was
discussed under [ISSUE-153] and [ISSUE-175]. Relevant emails should be
linked from those issues, but see in particular Sean's response to
TimBL at [1].

There are some differences between the current namespace document and
the namespace document previously published in 2005. These are
summarised in appendix D of the SKOS Reference:


The only change to previously defined properties in terms of formal
axioms concerns the property skos:broader. For more on the current
design, see section 8 of the SKOS Reference and section 4.5 of the
SKOS Primer [2].

> Do I assume it's a done deal at this point? This decision befuddles my  
> feeble brain, but maybe that's my problem.  If there is a page that  
> describes the best practices that led to, or resulted from, this  
> decision (or even what justified the decision in the end), I would be  
> very interested in seeing it.

I'm afraid no-one has yet tried to distil all of the relevant
discussion into a single document, so the best I can offer at the
moment are the links above and the emails linked from there.

> Also, along the same confused lines, 
> http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/mapping/spec/2004-11-11.html would appear 
> to be more recent than 2004/02/ but is not the same as any of the recent 
> documents. Can I assume it is deprecated?

Yes, this is deprecated, I'll get appropriate links and messages into
the older document asap.



[ISSUE-153] http://www.w3.org/2006/07/SWD/track/issues/153
[ISSUE-175] http://www.w3.org/2006/07/SWD/track/issues/175
[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-swd-wg/2008Dec/0029.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-skos-primer-20090317/#sectransitivebroader

> John
> On Mar 9, 2009, at 6:08 PM, Ed Summers wrote:
>> Last I heard the Semantic Web Deployment Working Group had decided not
>> to  change the namespace due to the amount of existing SKOS data in
>> the wild already [1]. So you should be OK using:
>>  http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/core#
>> To be on the safe side just be sure to only use classes and properties
>> that are available in the SKOS Reference [2].  I agree that from the
>> sounds of it your application would it would be a really nice use of
>> the SKOS vocabulary.
>> Also, feel free to join the public-esw-thes discussion list [3] if you
>> have some questions about SKOS that you'd like to target at current
>> SKOS developers/users.
>> //Ed
>> [1] http://www.w3.org/2006/07/SWD/track/issues/153
>> [2] http://www.w3.org/TR/skos-reference/
>> [3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-esw-thes/

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 Thursday, 2 April 2009 14:58:08 UTC

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