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CODE4LIB  April 2009

CODE4LIB April 2009

Subject:

Re: Something completely different

From:

Ross Singer <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 7 Apr 2009 11:21:57 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (229 lines)

So, thanks to the help of my coworkers, here's the RDA Elements schema
reformatted in an easier to read presentation:
http://morph.talis.com/?data-uri[]=http%3A%2F%2Frdvocab.info%2FElements.rdf&input=&output=exhibit&callback=

I have to say I feel like this schema is trying to both do way too
much and subsequently loses the resource specificity that RDF would be
providing.

For one thing, it seems to reinvent a _lot_ of wheels.  Why does it
define its own title property instead of using DC's?  By using
properties like titleOfTheWork, dateOfWork and all of the properties
that are specifically about TheSeries there is tremendous duplication
of text.  If Work was its own class, you would only need say that this
manifestation was an embodimentOf of it and reuse all of the
title-based properties for manifestation.  The series-specific
property names seem redundant, as well, since isn't SeriesStatement
defining a series?  Why do you need titleProperOfSeries if you already
have titleProper?

What does property 'uri' mean?

I also can't figure out how people/institutions are modeled in this
schema, since none of the elements have ranges.  Are they their own
resources?  If so, what?  The way it looks at a glance, they're
strings?

There are also different properties for dimensions, dimensionsOfMap,
dimensionsOfStillImage, etc.  Why is there any need for anything more
than 'dimensions'?  This is redefining what the resource 'is' in
multiple places, but the fact that this is a still image is made
somewhere else, right?  If so, isn't it self-evident that the
dimensions are of a still image?

It seems to me that very little work was done find preexisting
vocabularies to reuse and this schema still presents a very
'document-centric' or 'record-centric' view of data.

-Ross.

On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 9:39 AM, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Ross,
>
> I'm not questioning the technical assertion -- obviously you can combine
> properties from different vocabularies. My problem is with making sense of
> FRBR in relation to the properties, either in RDA or in bibo. Do you say
> that a particular grouping of properties is of type FRBR:Manifestation, or
> is the property defined in the vocabulary as in the Manifestation domain?
> RDA does the latter (although not in a semantic web way). Each data element
> in RDA "belongs" to a particular FRBR entity, so you never actually use the
> FRBR entities in your metadata. (Although the examples that Alistair Miles
> did [1] use the levels as part of the record organization.) I actually
> prefer the usage that I gave in my examples, in which relationships carry
> the FRBR "meaning" and bibliographic properties can be used at any level.
>
> The schema in the registry is completely flat partly because of the choice
> made by RDA to include the FRBR levels in the data elements themselves. The
> other 'partly' is because the creators of RDA are still pretty much thinking
> in terms of traditional bibliographic data, ISBD and MARC.
>
> kc
> [1] Linked from each scenario at
> http://dublincore.org/dcmirdataskgroup/Scenarios
>
> Ross Singer wrote:
>>
>> Right, ok, so an RDF graph can say the same resource is multiple
>> things at the same time, so that's how you deal with this:
>>
>> <http://lccn.loc.gov/95100870> rdf:type <bibo:Book> .
>> <http://lccn.loc.gov/95100870> dc:title "Doctor Zhivago"@en .
>> <http://lccn.loc.gov/95100870> dc:creator
>> <http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n79-18438> .
>> <http://lccn.loc.gov/95100870> rda:uniformTitle "Doktor Zhivago. English"
>> .
>> <http://lccn.loc.gov/95100870> rdf:type <rda:EditionStatement> .
>> <http://lccn.loc.gov/95100870> rdf:type <frbr:Manifestation> .
>> <http://lccn.loc.gov/95100870> frbr:embodimentOf
>> <http://dbpedia.org/resource/Doctor_Zhivago> .
>>
>> I'm guessing on the RDA assertions, because the schema in the
>> metadataregistry doesn't make much sense to me.
>>
>> Anyway, this shows how you can say multiple things from different
>> vocabularies for one resource.
>>
>> -Ross.
>> On Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 8:10 PM, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> Jonathan Rochkind wrote:
>>>
>>>>
>>>> I'm curious why you think that doesn't work?  Isn't "place of
>>>> publication"
>>>> a characteristic of a particular manifestation? While, "title",
>>>> according to
>>>> traditional library practices where you take it from the title page, is
>>>> also
>>>> a characteristic of a particular manifestation, is it not? ("uniform
>>>> title"
>>>> is _usually_ a characteristic of a work, unless we get into music
>>>> cataloging
>>>> and some other 'edge' cases. Our traditional practices -- which aren't
>>>> actually changed that much by RDA, are rather confusing.)
>>>>
>>>
>>> Well, I was responding to Ross' statement that bibo and FRBR could be
>>> used
>>> in combination, depending on whether one was at that moment describing
>>> 'bibliographic things' or 'work things'. bibo doesn't have a uniform
>>> title,
>>> so the question is: can you use a bibo title and say that it is a work
>>> title? I thought that Ross was indicating something of that nature --
>>> that
>>> you could have a FRBR 'work thing' with bibo properties. I'm trying to
>>> understand how that works since Work is a class. Don't you have to
>>> indicate
>>> the domain and range of a property in its definition?
>>>
>>> RDA tries to solve this by creating different properties for every
>>> concept+FRBR entity: title of the work (Work), title proper
>>> (Manifestation).
>>> [I don't understand why expressions don't have titles.... a translation
>>> is
>>> an expression, after all.]
>>>
>>>>
>>>> I am confused about what one would do about the fact that RDA defines
>>>> attributes a bit different than FRBR itself does. It's not too
>>>> surprising --
>>>> FRBR is really just a draft, hardly tested in the world. When RDA tried
>>>> to
>>>> make it a bit more concrete, it's not surprising that they found they
>>>> had to
>>>> make changes to make it workable. Not sure what to do about that in the
>>>> grand scheme of things, if RDA and FRBR both end up registering
>>>> different
>>>> vocabularies. I guess we'll just have two different vocabularies though,
>>>> which isn't too shocking I guess.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> I'm not sure there's anything to do, but I do know that the developers of
>>> RDA feel very strongly that in RDA they have 'implemented' FRBR, so we
>>> have
>>> to find a way to integrate FRBR and RDA in the registered RDA vocabulary.
>>> I
>>> agree that there's no problem with having RDA and FRBR as two different
>>> vocabularies, it's the effort of bringing them together that boggles me.
>>> I
>>> feel like it leaves a lot of loose ends. I'd be happy to see FRBR
>>> revised,
>>> or to have it re-defined without the attributes, thus allowing metadata
>>> developers to use the bibliographic relationship properties with any set
>>> of
>>> descriptive elements.
>>>
>>> I'm having trouble with the FRBR Group 1 entities as classes. I see them
>>> instead as relationships, and vocab.org does seem to treat them as
>>> relationships, not as 'things.' I see a distinct difference between a
>>> person
>>> entity and a work entity, because there is no thing that is a work. I see
>>> work as a relationship between two bibliographic statements. (This is
>>> vague
>>> in my mind, so I won't be surprised if it doesn't make sense....) As an
>>> example, if I have a group of bibliographic properties, say an author and
>>> a
>>> title, and I say:
>>>
>>> Magic Mountain, by Thomas Mann --> expresses --> Der Zauberberg, by
>>> Thomas
>>> Mann
>>>
>>> then I have created an 'expression to work' relationship, and so Der
>>> Zauberberg is a Work. If I do this, I don't need an explicit Work title.
>>> If
>>> I have a badly created Manifestation that has on its title page: Magic
>>> Mountian, I can do:
>>>
>>> Magic Mountian, published by x in y --> manifests --> Magic Mountain, by
>>> Thomas Mann --> expresses --> Der Zauberberg, by Thomas Mann
>>>
>>> In this way, I don't have to declare different title elements with
>>> different
>>> domains/ranges (which is essentially what RDA does in an awkward way) to
>>> connect them to the FRBR Group 1 classes, and the FRBR properties become
>>> more usable because you don't have to declare your bibliographic
>>> properties
>>> in terms of the FRBR classes. Now, IF you can use any properties, say,
>>> dcterms:title, with the FRBR properties, like "manifests" then the whole
>>> thing is solved. I think it works that way, but that is definitely NOT
>>> what
>>> RDA has done; it has incorporated the domain (FRBR class) in the
>>> bibliographic properties. I think that what I describe above in my
>>> examples
>>> works; and if it does, then the problem is with RDA.
>>>
>>> In the end, it's the relationship between properties and classes in FRBR
>>> and
>>> RDA that is giving me a headache, and the headache mainly has to do with
>>> FRBR group 1. I think this is my bete noir, and so I will now go read
>>> something soothing and let my blood pressure drop a bit.
>>>
>>> kc
>>>
>>> --
>>> -----------------------------------
>>> Karen Coyle / Digital Library Consultant
>>> [log in to unmask] http://www.kcoyle.net
>>> ph.: 510-540-7596   skype: kcoylenet
>>> fx.: 510-848-3913
>>> mo.: 510-435-8234
>>> ------------------------------------
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
> --
> -----------------------------------
> Karen Coyle / Digital Library Consultant
> [log in to unmask] http://www.kcoyle.net
> ph.: 510-540-7596   skype: kcoylenet
> fx.: 510-848-3913
> mo.: 510-435-8234
> ------------------------------------
>

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