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Subject: Re: [tm-pubsubj-comment] Comments on Use Case

(Sorry for double posting: Suellen started the thread on tm-pubsubj-comment, but IMO 
it is more technical TC work, and should be followed on tm-pubsubj)

We need maybe some clarifications. I'll try to make a clear distinction between 
different viewpoints, herafter called (subject) "Source", "Publisher", "Author" and 
"User", because it seems to me that both Mary's proposition and Suellen answer 
somehow mix those different viewpoints.

"Source" is the primary reference creator/publisher of the subject(s). It should be an 
(authoritative) entity, managing, editing, publishing a legacy of taxonomy, 
classification, thesaurus, vocabulary ...*under any form*.
ex: Library of Congress is Source for LCC categories, DCMI is Source for Dublin Core 
elements ... The primary reference is generally not (so far) a Published Subject (in the 
sense we are trying to define in this TC), e.g. it might not be a stable on-line resource.

"Publisher" may be

-- either a "Source" entity wanting to make its resources available as a set of 
standardized Published Subjects. For example Library of Congress could want to 
make its categories available as Published Subjects (let's dream for a while). In that 
case, Publisher and Source are the same entity, and all is the best concerning 
validation, IPR, management. That is the use case we should recommend and aim to. 
We should provide existing entities with recommendations and methodology to make 
their legacy available as standardized Published Subjects, and not make that work on 
their behalf, which would be "foolhardy" and silly, as Suellen points out accurately.

-- either an entity already using part of whole of one of the above classifications, and 
wanting to make them available as a set of Published Subjects, because the Source is 
not able or willing to do so. For example Vanderblit University Library would like to 
make LCC they use in their documentation management available as Published 
Subjects, because Library of Congress has not made it. In that case, the Publisher 
acts as a proxy for the Source, and of course it creates specific issues of validation, 
update, IPR, and a duplication of efforts. This could be used as a transition process, to 
kick off the bootstrap of Published Subjects wider adoption, but should not be a 
generally recommended process.

"Author" is a Topic Map creator and editor, that will use authoritative and trustable 
Published Subjects whenever available for its needs, through <subjectIndicatorRef>. 
The relevancy and accuracy of the reference is completely under the responsibility of 
the Author, and yes, it is a knowledge expert work, and no, you should not let children 
play with that knife. If you are not clear and use a reference to an explicit and crystal-
clear Published Subject *cancer* for a Topic gathering documents about *pneumonia*, 
well, you are a non-knowledgeable Author ... and too bad for the users of your work ... 
but there is something the Publisher can do about it: refuse to register this Topic Map 
in its Published Subjects declaration like a referenced <user> 

Now if the Author is working on behalf of a Publisher, itself a Source ... that's as best 
as one can get: e.g. a Topic Map published and validated under direct Libray of 
Congress authority, using LC Published Subjects based on LCC ... will certainly be 
more trustable than one of some obscure Author referring to some obscure Publisher 
using LCC in some non-controlled way ...

And of course, any Author can become a "local Publisher" by setting a set of specific 
Published Subjects for the need of a small community. And of course the use of 
Published Subjects and the use at all of Subject Indicators is optional ...

Now for the metaphysical question "Is the Published Subject I use, as an Author, the 
best one?" there is no technical answer. But Publisher could help by being itself, and 
making potential Authors, aware of Published Subjects equivalent to its own, and 
making them visible and available. That is the role of the <equivalent> element in the 
proposed DTD. To quote Suellen's example, if I use DDC and am not aware of LCC, 
OTOH maybe DDC Published Subjects authority is aware of LCC, and refers to them. 
But that is up to the DDC Publisher to include in its Published Subjects references to 
<equivalent> LCC, and the other way round. 

So, I suppose we should think about Dublin Core use in that spirit:

1. We have several Sources, will they be Publishers? 
2. If not, who's gonna do it?
3. How will we provide Publishers the more simple way to link consistently with each 


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