How to avoid abbreviation collision in Astronomy
Alasdair J G Gray
agray at dcs.gla.ac.uk
Tue Dec 18 03:37:26 PST 2007
Frederic V. Hessman wrote:
>> From: Chenzhou CUI <ccz-at-bao.ac.cn>
>> Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 23:01:51 +0800Just noticed a paper from
>> Astro-ph mailing list. It is the "UCD" abbreviation in the title that
>> calls my attention. After reading the abstract, I know, "UCD" here is
>> completely different from the IVOA UCD.
>> Should we try to avoid abbreviation collision at least in Astronomy?
>> How to get it?
> No way! - abbreviations by definition will be shorter and hence suffer
> more from collisions. The purpose of abbreviations in the IVOA
> vocabularies should be to better support users who are liable to use
> them in controled contexts. If you app gets an abbreviation from a
> user/other app, it can look up what concepts might be implied and
> guess which ones are intended using the context. This is the main
> reason I've been working on the BT, NT, and RT entries in IVOAT.
Abbreviations can/should be used in user interfaces, however, they
should only be alternate labels in the vocabularies developed. The
preferred label should be the full, expanded, term. This will reduce the
chances of collisions.
When sharing concepts between applications, the URI of the concept
should be used. This will ensure that both applications know which
concept is being used. Again, the user interfaces of the applications
can use the abbreviated form which would be an alternate label for the
concept. In fact, the applications should *not *display the URI as the
main form of interaction with the user.
Dr Alasdair J G Gray
Tel: +44 141 330 6292
Postal: Computing Science,
17 Lilybank Gardens,
University of Glasgow,
G12 8QQ, UK.
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