Vocabularies: next steps
norman at astro.gla.ac.uk
Wed Nov 21 13:18:01 PST 2007
On 2007 Nov 21, at 17:40, Ed Shaya wrote:
> Norman Gray wrote:
>> 1. The format of the concept labels (case and character set)
> We need to decide just what this vocabulary will be used for. If
> the terms are to be used in ontologies, N3 statements, UCDs, etc,
> then they need to be readable. The set [a-z] only does not make a
> readable set. The argument that these are just the Ids and no
> human will ever need to see them, is only true if the SKOS is not
> actually used.
I'm not sure I follow you. The maximally normalised format leaves
the terms with some mnemonic force for the benefit of that handful of
people who will deal with the term URIs directly. Users will never
see the URIs, but only the prefLabels, which will be perfectly human-
>> 2. The grammatical number of the concept names (singular or plural)
> We surely want singular. There is a skos:definition. Do we define
> the plural term or the singular term there? Galaxies - "Systems
> with many stars" or "A system with stars."
It now occurs to me that this grammatical number debate is unnecessary.
It doesn't really matter how we name the concepts, because we'll
surely use as labels the terms currently in the various
vocabularies. That is, the labels in the IAU and A&A vocabularies
will be plural because the terms in the IAU thesaurus and the A&A
list are plural; the labels for the AOIM vocabulary will be singular
because that's what's in the current AOIM list. There's nothing we
can do about it, unless we start gratuitously rewriting the existing
vocabulary terms, which is very much Not The Point.
>> 3. The number of top concepts in the IAU thesaurus
> This is a purely arbitrary number. You (not me) need to decide
> what a topConcept is. Is it truly those things with no broader
> term or is it the set of most useful and yet fairly broad terms
> that one would see in the index of a book. Creating a good index
> for a book is an art not a science.
Indeed. It occurs to me in retrospect that this is also a non-
issue. SKOS has a way of declaring the set of top concepts, on the
grounds that this _might_ be a way of helping a user visualise or
navigate within a vocabulary, if _it so happens_ that a vocabulary
ends up roughly hierarchical. However it doesn't mandate it, and
there's no obligation to declare top concepts, especially in the case
where, as you mention, the analogy is to a book index, which is also
a barely-structured list of vocabulary terms.
>> 6. The WD which documents this
> Aren't we talking about a Note?
Ermm, I've heard both Note and WD bandied about; I'm fairly agnostic,
though tend to feel we might as well go the whole hog and talk about
a standards-track document. We could call it a Note to begin with
and potentially decide to standardise it later if that's the feeling
of us all.
>> 4. The number of vocabularies we intend to produce (in particular
>> whether we produce a pair of `IAU' thesauri, including a corrected
>> and updated one, and which UCD vocabulary we use), and which
>> interrelationships we plan to publish
>> I'd suggest one each for A&A, AOIM, UCD, IAU original and possibly
>> IAU updated. That is, we publish a SKOSified version of the
>> _original_ IAU thesaurus, with all its spelling mistakes and
>> outdatedness, and don't touch that thereafter. Subsequently or
>> simultaneously we could and should publish a preened and updated
>> one, with whatever IAU imprimaturs Rob or others can bring upon us.
> I don't think the original IAU thesaurus saw any usage. (Does
> anyone know of any?) So, what would be the point of a mapping to it?
Because it's trivial? Going from the IAU source file to a SKOS file
is basically just changing punctuation (plus some technicalities
which Alasdair, Rick and Doug can surely talk about at length!).
What do folk think of the timetable?
All the best,
Norman Gray : http://nxg.me.uk
eurovotech.org : University of Leicester, UK
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