I completely agree with Karen regarding how FRBR falls short in not
allowing for more relationships between Group 1-2 and Group 3 entities.
FRBRoo fleshes out some of these things, but in a woefully unweildy way,
IMO. Conversely, FRBR in RDF (at http://vocab.org/frbr) consolidates
some classes and properties (e.g. Responsible entity, a superclass of
Person, Family and Corporate body), and to me approaches the kind of
extensibility we need. Unfortunately, it does not include data
properties, which I agree are problematic, as Karen illustrates.
I do maintain that FRBR is the kind of *conceptual* model that, for the
most part, can guide the development of effective data structures.
However, it is far too abstract to be implemented verbatim. This is what
I think RDA is trying to do with attributes like "Title for the work" I
wonder: why is there not an ontology expert on the JSC?? (If I'm wrong
and there is, someone please correct me)
Karen Coyle wrote:
> Extensibility as absolutely key. I know that some people consider XML
> to be inherently extensible, but I'm concerned that the conceptual
> model presented by FRBR doesn't support extensibility. For example,
> the FRBR entity "Place" represents only the place as a subject. If you
> want to represent places anywhere else in the record, you are SOL.
> Ditto the "Event" entity. The attributes in FRBR have no inherent
> structure, so you have, say, Manifestation with a whole page of
> attributes that are each defined at the most detailed level. You have
> "reduction ratio (microform)" but no "reproduction info" field that
> you could extend for another physical format. You have "date of
> publication" but no general "date" property that could be extended to
> other dates that are needed (in fact, the various date fields have no
> relation to each other).
> To have an extensible data structure we need to have some foundation
> "classes" that we can build on, and nothing in FRBR, RDA, or MARC
> gives us that.
> Casey A Mullin wrote:
>> (Attention: lurker emerging)
>> To me what it comes down to is neither simplicity nor complexity, but
>> extensibility. In a perfect world, our data models should be capable
>> of representing very sophisticated and robust relationships at a high
>> level of granularity, while still accommodating ease of metadata
>> production and contribution (especially by non-experts and those
>> outside the library community).
>> I agree that none of our existing data structures/syntaxes are /a
>> priori /fundamental or infallible. But what is promising to me about
>> RDF is its intuitive mode of expression and extensibility (exactly
>> the kind I advocate above).
>> Han, Yan wrote:
>>> Bill and Peter,
>>> Very nice posts. XML, RDF, MARC and DC are all different ways to
>>> present information in a way (of course, XML, RDF, and DC are easier
>>> to read/processed by machine).
>>> However, down the fundamentals, I think that it can go deeper,
>>> basically data structure and algorithms making things works. RDF
>>> (with triples) is a directed graph. Graph is a powerful (the most
>>> powerful?) data structure that you can model everything. However,
>>> some of the graph theory/problems are NP-hard problems. In
>>> fundamental we are talking about Math. So a balance needs to be
>>> made. (between how complex the model is and how easy(or possible) to
>>> get it implemented). As computing power grows, complex data modeling
>>> and data mining are on the horizon.
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
>>> Of Peter Schlumpf
>>> Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2009 10:09 PM
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: [CODE4LIB] You got it!!!!! Re: [CODE4LIB] Something
>>> completely different
>>> You have hit the nail on the head!!!!! This is EXACTLY what I am
>>> trying to do! It's the underlying stuff that I am trying to get
>>> at. Looking at RDF may yield some good ideas. But I am not
>>> thinking in terms of RDF or XML, triples, or MARC, standards, or any
>>> of that stuff that gets thrown around here. Even the Internet is
>>> not terribly necessary. I am thinking in terms of data structures,
>>> pointers, sparse matrices, relationships between objects and yes,
>>> set theory too -- things like that. The former is pretty much cruft
>>> that lies upon the latter, and it mostly just gets in the way.
>>> Noise, as you put it, Bill!
>>> A big problem here is that Libraryland has a bad habit of getting
>>> itself lost in the details and going off on all kinds of tangents.
>>> As I said before, the biggest prison is between the ears!!!! Throw
>>> out all that junk in there and just start over! When I begin
>>> programming this thing my only tools will be a programming language
>>> (C or Java) a text editor (vi) and my head. But before I really
>>> start that, right now I am writing a paper that explains how this
>>> stuff works at a very low level. It's mostly an effort to get my
>>> thoughts down clearly, but I will share a draft of it with y'all on
>>> here soon.
>>> Peter Schlumpf
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Bill Dueber <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Sent: Apr 9, 2009 10:37 PM
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Something completely different
>>>> On Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 10:26 AM, Mike Taylor <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> I'm not sure what to make of this except to say that Yet Another XML
>>>>> Bibliographic Format is NOT the answer!
>>>> I recognize that you're being flippant, and yet think there's an
>>>> nugget in here.
>>>> When you say it that way, it makes it sound as if folks are
>>>> debating the
>>>> finer points of OAI-MARC vs MARC-XML -- that it's simply syntactic
>>>> (although I'm certainly one to argue for the importance of
>>>> syntactic sugar)
>>>> over the top of what we already have.
>>>> What's actually being discussed, of course, is the underlying data
>>>> E-R pairs primarily analyzed by set theory, triples forming
>>>> directed graphs,
>>>> whether or not links between data elements can themselves have
>>>> attributes --
>>>> these are all possible characteristics of the fundamental
>>>> underpinning of a
>>>> data model to describe the data we're concerned with.
>>>> The fact that they all have common XML representations is noise, and
>>>> referencing the currently-most-common xml schema for these things
>>>> is just
>>>> convenient shorthand in a community that understands the exemplars.
>>>> The fact
>>>> that many in the library community don't understand that syntax is
>>>> not the
>>>> same as a data model is how we ended up with RDA. (Mike: I don't
>>>> know your
>>>> stuff, but I seriously doubt you're among that group. I'm talkin' in
>>>> general, here.)
>>>> Bibliographic data is astoundingly complex, and I believe
>>>> that modeling it sufficiently is a very, very hard task. But no
>>>> matter the
>>>> underlying model, we should still insist on starting with the
>>>> basics that
>>>> computer science folks have been using for decades now: uids (and,
>>>> days, guids) for the important attributes, separation of data and
>>>> definition of sufficient data types and reuse of those types whenever
>>>> possible, separation of identity and value, full normalization of
>>>> data, zero
>>>> ambiguity in the relationship diagram as a fundamental tenet, and a
>>>> mathematical model to describe how it all fits together.
>>>> This is hard stuff. But it's worth doing right.
>>>> Bill Dueber
>>>> Library Systems Programmer
>>>> University of Michigan Library
Casey A. Mullin
Discovery Metadata Librarian
Metadata Development Unit
Stanford University Libraries
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