On 1/22/14, 3:17 PM, Robert Sanderson wrote:
> The "we might change what this means" argument is also problematic -- if
> you change what it means, then you should change the URI! Otherwise people
> will continue to use them incorrectly, plus the legacy data generated with
> the previous definition will suddenly change what it's saying.
Rob, absolutely right. If the semantics change, then you need a new
property. But labels can change (or more can be added). However, the
library world still equates labels with data -- that is, that our data
is one-to-one with what we display. That's a huge problem, and it's very
hard getting people to think differently about that.

I've been looking at the output of the RDA vocabularies over the last
couple of days and it IS quite difficult to do so with properties named
something like "P3058". There is a strong case to be made for mnemonics,
although I also take Jon's point that when a property has a name like
"dc:title" it is easy for folks to assume they really know what it
means. I would still prefer something memorable at this stage.

> Finally, 1600 properties... good luck with that.
Yes. And remember, RDA was designed to be a *simpler* cataloging code.
Can you imagine if it weren't?!


> Rob
> On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 3:03 PM, Hamilton, Gill <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Je ne comprends pas l'anglais.
>> Je ne comprends pas l'URI otherDesignationAssociatedWithTheCorporateBody
>> 私は日本人です。私は理解していない、そのURI
>> Opaque URIs with human readable labels helps in an international context.
>> Just my two yens worth :)
>> G
>> -------------------------------------
>> Gill Hamilton
>> Digital Access Manager
>> National Library of Scotland
>> George IV Bridge
>> Edinburgh EH1 1EW, Scotland
>> e: [log in to unmask]
>> t: +44 (0)131 623 3770
>> Skype: gill.hamilton.nls
>> ________________________________________
>> From: Code for Libraries [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Dan
>> Scott [[log in to unmask]]
>> Sent: 22 January 2014 21:10
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Fwd: [rules] Publication of the RDA Element
>> Vocabularies
>> Hi Karen:
>> On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 3:16 PM, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> I can't address the first points, but I can speak a bit to the question
>> of
>>> meaningful URIs. In the original creation of the RDA elements,
>> "meaningful"
>>> URIs were used based on the actual RDA terminology. This resulted in URIs
>>> like:
>>> and...
>>> Not only that, the terminology for some elements changed over time,
>> which in
>>> some cases meant deprecating a property that was then overly confusing
>> based
>>> on its name.
>>> Now, I agree that one possibility would have been for the JSC to develop
>>> meaningful but reasonably short property names. Another possibility is
>> that
>>> we cease looking at URIs and begin to work with labels, since URIs are
>> for
>>> machines and labels are for humans. Unfortunately, much RDF software
>> still
>>> expects you to work with the underlying URI rather than the human-facing
>>> label. We need to get through that stage as quickly as possible, because
>>> it's causing us to put effort into URI "naming" that would be best used
>> for
>>> other analysis activities.
>> Thanks for responding on this front. I understand that, while the
>> vocabulary was in heavy active development it might have been painful
>> to adjust as elements changed, but given that this marks the actual
>> publication of the vocabulary, that churn should have settled down,
>> and then this part of the JSC's contribution to semantic web could
>> have semantics applied at both the micro and macro level.
>> I guess I see URIs as roughly parallel to API names; as long as humans
>> are assembling programs, we're likely to benefit from having
>> meaningful (no air quotes required) names... even if sometimes the
>> meaning drifts over time and the code & APIs need to be refactored.
>> Dealing with sequentially numbered alphanumeric identifiers reminds me
>> rather painfully of MARC.
>> For what it's worth (and it might not be worth much) "curl
>> | grep "reg:name" | sort |
>> uniq -c" shows that the reg:name property is unique across all of the
>> agent properties, at least. Remnants of the earlier naming effort? If
>> that pattern holds, those could have been simply used for the
>> identifiers in place of "P#####". The most unwieldy of those appears
>> to be "otherDesignationAssociatedWithTheCorporateBody" (which _is_
>> unwieldy, certainly, but still more meaningful than
>> Perhaps it's not too late?
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Karen Coyle
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m: 1-510-435-8234
skype: kcoylenet