W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > March 2014

Re: What should we call RDF's ability to allow multiple models to peacefully coexist, interconnected?

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Sat, 08 Mar 2014 17:10:43 -0500
Message-ID: <531B9563.6080201@dbooth.org>
To: Hugh Glaser <hugh@glasers.org>
CC: "Timothy W. Cook" <tim@mlhim.org>, semantic-web <semantic-web@w3.org>
On 03/08/2014 05:55 AM, Hugh Glaser wrote:
> Great initiative, David (assuming I understand correctly what you
> mean!) And capturing the value proposition is what it needs.
> I’ve just been at a Linked GeoData workshop - you find people
> discussing how to represent dates (of course), as well as
> geo-location etc.. And they always talk about “the” representation to
> choose - never “a” or “the representations”.

Agreed.  In the context of information integration I have often heard 
people -- especially from the XML world -- talk about the need to decide 
on *the* data model that will integrate all of the others, naively 
assuming that the world is static, instead of recognizing the need to 
continually accommodate new data models.  The result is like the xkcd 
comic about "How Standards Proliferate":

> I find myself on these
> occasions (although not this one) saying, “Well, why not both, or all
> of them? It’s only a few extra triples.”
> I often stuff multiple bibliographic representations from DC, bibo,
> AKT, FOAF, etc. into stores, usually explicitly but of course it can
> also be done with appropriate owl stuff.
> This sort of thing is very strange to anyone, and is not a function
> of just people from DBs etc.; we like simplicity in our lives, and
> don’t naturally take to a world that is fluid and has no single view
> of how to describe things.
> Looking at the suggestions, I see that a lo tot the word model or
> schema in them. I am sure these will mean something to people who
> come from the worlds of logic and DBs, but to the rest of us, they
> are abstract terms that geeks use. I actually want a way of saying it
> that captures it for people in application domains, who may never
> have heard the words schema or model used in these technical
> contexts.

That sounds like a difficult but very worthy challenge.

> I know they are not the people building the system, and so
> don’t get that close, but they very often think they understand
> enough of the system that they naturally try and “help” by working to
> only give one representation/model/schema.
> And I think it is still looking at the data from the point of view of
> the publisher. For me the challenge is to work out what a consumer
> would call it - always the consumer.

That's a great perspective.

> I find dates to be an excellent use case for all this (although I
> realise that you are trying to capture this for more complex
> things). No matter how you would like to represent what you have got,
> it is always about how easily one can retrieve the information
> filtered in the way you want. It is pretty common (I find) to stuff
> an ISO date in, and accompany that with a much more complex date
> ontology that allows querying based on year or within year day, etc.
> I have referred to this as “overloading the date representation”. I
> guess that is because I come from an old-fashioned CS background, and
> so it is still too tecchy for someone from an application domain.
> What is it that a librarian, geographer, biologist or banker would
> understand? And could it be one thing for all of them? When I talk to
> such people about this, I simply say that we can support “multiple
> representations” efficiently.

That sounds like a reasonable way to describe it, for that kind of audience.

> The problem with that, I think is that it doesn’t quite sound
> technical and special enough! Hence I use “overloaded”, and then
> explain it just means multiple.


> Thanks for listening - I wasn’t sure what I was going to put on the
> Gdoc when I started, but now I know :-)

Thanks for your contributions!


> On 7 Mar 2014, at 20:09, David Booth <david@dbooth.org> wrote:
>> On 03/07/2014 02:33 PM, Timothy W. Cook wrote:
>>> [ . . . ]  What RDF really does is; provide a data model agnostic
>>> 'layer for semantic connections across information resources'.
>> That is true, but I am hoping for a term that somehow also
>> succinctly conveys the **value proposition** of doing so -- i.e., a
>> term that somehow alludes to the benefit that this characteristic
>> provides.
>> David
>>> Cheers, Tim
>>> On Fri, Mar 7, 2014 at 1:20 PM, David Booth <david@dbooth.org
>>> <mailto:david@dbooth.org>> wrote:
>>> I -- and I'm sure many others -- have struggled for years trying
>>> to succinctly describe RDF's ability to allow multiple data
>>> models to peacefully coexist, interconnected, in the same data.
>>> For data integration, this is a key strength of RDF that
>>> distinguishes it from other information representation languages
>>> such as XML.   I have tried various terms over the years -- most
>>> recently "schema promiscuous" -- but have not yet found one that
>>> I think really nails it, so I would love to get other people's
>>> thoughts.
>>> This google doc lists several candidate terms, some pros and
>>> cons, and allows you to indicate which ones you like best:
>>> http://goo.gl/zrXQgj
>>> Please have a look and indicate your favorite(s).  You may also
>>> add more ideas and comments to it.  The document can be edited by
>>> anyone with the URL.
>>> Thanks! David Booth
>>> -- MLHIM VIP Signup: http://goo.gl/22B0U
>>> ============================================ Timothy Cook, MSc
>>> +55 21 994711995 MLHIM http://www.mlhim.org Like Us on FB:
>>> https://www.facebook.com/mlhim2 Circle us on G+:
>>> http://goo.gl/44EV5 Google Scholar: http://goo.gl/MMZ1o LinkedIn
>>> Profile:http://www.linkedin.com/in/timothywaynecook
Received on Saturday, 8 March 2014 22:11:16 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Tuesday, 5 July 2022 08:45:36 UTC