RE: [VM] Configuration management for RDFS/OWL ontologies


It may be useful to clarify the purpose of this activity. It seems that
Change Management is actually what this paper discusses. Configuration
Management in the engineering industry is a broader concept. Configuration
Management is also used to describe things like the ability to produce an
automobile based on a set of options and logic about acceptable
configurations (e.g. a larger battery is required when the car has an
electric motor to raise the convertible top).


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Miles, AJ (Alistair)
Sent: 07 July 2005 13:36
To: Thomas Baker
Subject: RE: [VM] Configuration management for RDFS/OWL ontologies

Perhaps a slightly confusing name, but in a project management (e.g.
prince2) context 'configuration management' means a system for controlling
change to ensure quality, and that's what we need for RDF vocabs.  I.e. we
need to know how to support *commercial strength* RDF vocab and ontology

If you've got 'The Little Prince2' look at section 6.1.1 'Planning Quality'
... very useful, tho I better not reproduce it here for fear of copyright
infringement.  It highlights 5 processes:  

Planning: this is what we did when we discussed the policy statements
section of the SKOS Core spec - we decided what level of configuration
management is required, and we wrote a process for achieving it.

Identification: this means identifying all the components of a product.  In
the case of SKOS Core this is all the properties and classes, in the case of
a generic RDF vocab it could be modules as well.

Control: this means 'freezing' products and making changes only within a
formal (or at least clearly defined) procedure, involving e.g. access
rights, version tracking.  For SKOS Core this is editorial responsibility,
historical snapshots, and the review process.

Status accounting: this means keeping a record of current and historical
data for a product, especially relating to the status of the product.  For
SKOS Core this is per-term stability levels. 

Verification: verifying that actual status matches recorded/authorised
status.  We could do that e.g. by checking if changes have occurred to a
class or prop between versions that are not allowed by the term's stability

An analogy is e.g. car or aerospace engineering.  With good configuration
management you can track a problem back to the specific batch of faulty nuts
or bolts.  With poor configuration management you have no idea what went
wrong or how to fix it. 




> -----Original Message-----
> From: Thomas Baker []
> Sent: 07 July 2005 13:03
> To: Miles, AJ (Alistair)
> Cc:;
> Subject: Re: [VM] Configuration management for RDFS/OWL ontologies
> On Wed, Jul 06, 2005 at 02:51:12PM +0100, Alistair Miles wrote:
> > After the discussion on the SWBP-WG VM telecon yesterday I put
> > down some thoughts on how configuration management for RDFS/OWL 
> > ontologies ought to be done, see:
> > 
> >
> > 
> > Has anyone written anything like this down already?
> DCMI practice for "versioning" terms is described
> -- unofficially, from a DCMI perspective -- in 
> I'm curious about the choice of words "configuration management".  A 
> Google search on '"configuration management"'
> does not show any obvious sources for a definition in the W3C context.
> Tom
> -- 
> Dr. Thomas Baker            
> SUB - Goettingen State                            +49-551-39-3883
> and University Library                           +49-30-8109-9027
> Papendiek 14, 37073 Göttingen

Received on Thursday, 7 July 2005 12:59:47 UTC