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RE: SKOS dodges the identity crisis?

From: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 15:07:35 +0200
Message-ID: <1E4A0AC134884349A21955574A90A7A50ADDB1@trebe051.ntc.nokia.com>
To: <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>, <public-esw-thes@w3.org>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-rdf-interest-request@w3.org
> [mailto:www-rdf-interest-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of ext Miles, AJ
> (Alistair)
> Sent: 18 November, 2004 20:46
> To: 'www-rdf-interest@w3.org'; 'public-esw-thes@w3.org'
> Subject: SKOS dodges the identity crisis?
> Hi all,
> I did some more thinking about SKOS, and wrote up an idea at:
> http://esw.w3.org/topic/SkosDev/DodgeIdentity
> I would very much like to know if you think this looks sound, 
> workable,
> reasonable, viable, or not ... all thoughts welcomed :)

This seems to be a fully coherent approach, and if applied
consistently, would indeed skirt the hash/slash issue; though
I'm wondering whether it would actually meet real users' needs.

I.e., users will be needing to refer to particular concepts, 
and thus while you would be providing unambiguous URIs which
identify descriptions of concepts, users would then have to 
determine an unambiguous relation from a particular description
of a concept to some other URI or bnode which identifies the
actual concept.

While there are certainly ways to do that, I think that it
will prove overly cumbersome in practice, and that also, you
will see alot of users using the URIs identifying the descriptions
of concepts to incorrectly refer to the concepts themselves, 
regardless of what the documentation says, because that would be 
an intuitive thing to do, given the way thesauri are typically
organized and used. 

The indirection from URI of description of concept to actual
concept is perhaps not one that users will enjoy having to deal 

It also fails to provide any official set of URIs for the
concepts themselves, which I think is one of the most primary
needs of many users today, and a well established and 
broadly deployed "interlingua" of terms to which proprietary
or more specialized terms are related is essential for
the semantic web to work. 

> We really have to get this sorted.

I suggest you follow Dublin Core's exemplary lead and use
URIs without fragment identifiers to identify your terms.
You'll be in very good company, and such an approach is
fully compatible with the PR version of AWWW and every
semantic web spec produced by the W3C to date.



> Cheers,
> Al.
> ---
> Alistair Miles
> Research Associate
> CCLRC - Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
> Building R1 Room 1.60
> Fermi Avenue
> Chilton
> Didcot
> Oxfordshire OX11 0QX
> United Kingdom
> Email:        a.j.miles@rl.ac.uk
> Tel: +44 (0)1235 445440
Received on Friday, 19 November 2004 13:11:38 UTC

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