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Re: Lists of tagged strings in RDF

From: Hugh Glaser <hugh@glasers.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2021 20:07:12 +0100
Cc: SW-forum <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-Id: <17F3631A-14EB-411B-848A-E0983A59A7D4@glasers.org>
To: mail@frensjan.nl
Hi Frens Jan,

Sorry to perhaps be a bit difficult here, rather than answer the question as put.

I read your posting with some unease.
In general:
When people move from an existing application in a programming language to using RDF, it can often seem that things don't move over easily and naturally; and indeed that can be the case.
Other have commented many times on this list, that RDF is neither a programming language nor a data structure description, so perhaps that is not surprising.

Without the specific set of ways in which you will be using the knowledge (rather than an abstract "well I want it to be like the Java I already have"), it is hard to suggest alternatives.
> This allows reconstruction of the name into a string while at the same time expressing the components of the name. So it captures the roles of the elements of a name (e.g. given names, family names) *as well as* their order (given names aren't first everywhere). Also, it allows expressing multiple names. E.g. in multiple languages / scripts. Or even aliases used in different areas of the world.
Since you talk about "given names", it seems to me that you could use
	:givenNames "Frens Jan"

More specifically, you seem to want to tread an almost impossible line of small amount of the knowledge of a person's name, without having anything extra.
If you really want to be able to embrace the multi-cultural stuff of even just UK, HUN & ESP, for example, you need to think what you will do with people like
Bartók Béla and our own Ivan Herman, who might also been know as Herman Ivan;
José Plácido Domingo Embil;
Pablo Ruiz Picasso;
Sacha Noam Baron Cohen;

I actually have a feeling you can get away with 
:givenNames
:familyNames
for quite a while, if you are lucky, but as I said, it will depend on the context of your application.

Good luck
Hugh



> On 10 Jun 2021, at 18:37, Rumph, Frens Jan <mail@frensjan.nl> wrote:
> 
> Dear Christophe,
> 
> Thank you for the pointer. I wasn't aware of this ontology! There are some elements missing from the vocabulary, but it comes a long way. But knowing that others went down this route is somewhat reassuring.
> 
> As for the use of blank nodes: agreed, this is not necessary. Given the inability to delete them (with SPARQL) I am steering away from them anyway.
> 
> Best regards,
> Frens Jan
> 
> On Thu, Jun 10, 2021 at 1:08 PM Christophe Debruyne <christophe.debruyne@gmail.com> wrote:
> MADS (https://www.loc.gov/standards/mads/rdf/) provides you a way to represent parts of a name using a collection. A madsrdf:PersonalName has a madsrdf:elementList that refers to a list (thus keeping order). In that list, you can have various typed resources with a madsrdf:elementValue containing the literals.
> The nodes do not necessarily have to be blank. So this looks like your second approach but using a vocabulary published by the Library of Congres.
> With my best regards,
> Christophe
> 
> On Thu, Jun 10, 2021 at 12:39 PM Martynas Jusevičius <martynas@atomgraph.com> wrote:
> Why is the list syntax ( ) not satisfactofy?
> 
> On Thu, 10 Jun 2021 at 12.07, Rumph, Frens Jan <mail@frensjan.nl> wrote:
> Dear readers,
> 
> I am investigating transitioning an application to use RDF. One roadblock is how this application models names of persons. It supports straight-forward full names as a single string, but also supports decomposed names, e.g. person X has given name *Frens* followed by a second given name *Jan* followed by the family name *Rumph*.
> 
> Note that this is a crosspost of https://stackoverflow.com/questions/65982459/rdf-modelling-of-list-of-name-elements. I hope to get some more 
> 
> The data structure is something like:
> 
> ```java
> enum Role {
>    ...
>    GIVEN_NAME,
>    FAMILY_NAME,
>    ...
> }
> 
> record NameElement(role: Role, value: String) {}
> 
> record AnnotatedName(NameElement... elements) {}
> ```
> 
> in order to be instantiated like:
> 
> ```java
> var name = new AnnotatedName(
>     new NameElement(GIVEN_NAME, "Frens"),
>     new NameElement(GIVEN_NAME, "Jan"),
>     new NameElement(FAMILY_NAME, "de Vries")
> );
> ```
> 
> This allows reconstruction of the name into a string while at the same time expressing the components of the name. So it captures the roles of the elements of a name (e.g. given names, family names) *as well as* their order (given names aren't first everywhere). Also, it allows expressing multiple names. E.g. in multiple languages / scripts. Or even aliases used in different areas of the world.
> 
> I have toyed around with some RDF constructs, but none are really satisfactory:
> 
> ```turtle
> # list of strings misusing data types as tags
> :frens :name ( "Frens"^^:givenName "Jan"^^:givenName "de Vries"^^:familyName ) .
> 
> # list of blank nodes
> :frens :name ( [ :givenName "Frens" ]
>                [ :givenName "Jan" ]
>                [ :familyName "de Vries" ] ) .
> 
> # single blank node with unordered 'elements'
> :frens :name [ a           :AnnotatedPersonName ;
>                :fullName   "Frens Jan de Vries" ;
>                :givenName  "Frens" ;
>                :givenName  "Jan" ;
>                :familyName "de Vries" ] .
> ```
> 
> ---
> 
> **Existing ontologies for HD names?**
> Is there an existing ontology that covers such 'high fidelity'? FOAF and vcard have some relevant properties, but aren't able to capture this level of semantics.
> 
> **Lists?** One major 'blocker' in migrating this approach to RDF is the notion of order that is used. If at all possible, I'd like to stay away from the List / Container swamp in RDF land ...
> 
> I'd be grateful for any thoughts on the matter!
> 
> Best regards,
> Frens Jan

-- 
Hugh
023 8061 5652
Received on Thursday, 10 June 2021 19:08:00 UTC

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