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Subject: RE: [tm-pubsubj] Subject identification and ontological commitment : a real-world example

That must be my day. Reading my breakfast mail and having Lars Marius not
only understanding, but *agreeing* on my previous message. Incredible :))

> This helped a lot. It's pretty clear to me what you want now:
> guidelines for the *use* of published subjects. That is, not for their
> publication, but for their use. (Well, I'm not claiming that you say
> we shouldn't have guidelines for publication, but that you say we
> should also have guidelines for use.)
> What we set out to do was to establish guidelines for both (says the
> charter), and I am not opposed to doing so, though I believe we
> planned to start with publication and only afterwards move on to
> guidelines for use.

Well, in fact, and thinking now concretely in terms of deliverables, I
think we can hardly split publication and use guidelines. Recommendations
for publication should take into account the possible, and I would say
*intended* use. And both of those are actually very difficult to define in
a generic way, as we have learnt in trying to do so, since they highly
depend, in fact, on the domain and type of subjects. So I really wonder if
we should not aim at a set of "Use Cases" or "Scenarios" deliverables, all
built on the same model, and each including guidelines for publishers and
for users in the specific use case.

> To me that still makes sense. There is a crying need for guidance on
> how to create these things right now, but few people seem to have a
> problem with the use, quite possibly because before they can publish
> PSIs they can't use them either. :)


> * Bernard Vatant
> | For example if GeoLang publishes PSIs for "Kurdistan" or "Palestine"
> | declaring they belong to the class "Country", someone using this PSIs
> | assert that Kurdistan or Palestine are *not* countries is
non-conformant to
> | the recommended use of GeoLang PSIs.
> seems very strange indeed. You use the PSI and then contradict what it
> says? That doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Of course it does not make sense to me either, because we are sensible
people. But that kind of things is bound to happen, not maybe in that case
where it's obviously wrong (but you never know), but certainly in cases
where it would be less obvious what the consubstantial (again) subject
properties asserted by the publisher are.

> | Now, how any application and language will manage to express and
> | communicate that semantic commitment is another story, and maybe not
> | our business, as long as they can do it : RDF can, XTM can, OWL can,
> | and the list is open.
> I agree.
> (Hey, OWL *is* RDF. It's just an RDF vocabulary. What you just said is
> like saying XML can, and so can DocBook.)

I could argue about OWL being more than an RDF vocabulary. It's an ontology
language that "happens" to use RDF syntax - over the dead body of some of
its authors, BTW :)) But let's port that debate around a beer somewhere.

> | What we can stick to is recommending something like:
> |
> | - Definition of a subject in a subject indicator should contain
> | assertion of generic properties of the subject, like attributes and
> | relationships with other subjects, themselves (the relations and the
> | subjects) identified by other PSIs. Those generic properties should
> | be reduced to the minimal set needed to define the subject without
> | ambiguity. It is recommended that the subject indicator provides
> | accurate and explicit indications concerning those properties. Use
> | of a PSI entails from its user a commitment to use it in conformance
> | with those indications.
> Maybe. I'm not sure about this.

At least you agree that discussing it is in the scope of this TC, right?
Mary does seem to think that even discussing that is outside or scope.

> | - A recommended practice is for publishers to deliver sets of PSIs
> | where those properties are declared using a formal and consistent
> | ontological schema : classification, thesaurus, formal ontology, in
> | any relevant standard format.
> This sounds fine to me.


> | Nevertheless, my answer here hopefully contains concrete proposals
> | for future deliverables.
> It certainly does, and I'm generally happy with what you say. I do
> feel that we should perhaps start by taking a few paces backwards and
> try to get an overview of what we want to achieve before we dive into
> specific issues. But I do think we should look carefully at this once
> we are ready for the specific issues.
> What I'd like to know right now is: what is the next deliverable? What
> is it going to contain? Can anyone tell me? If not, how do we find
> out?

OK. I will push some proposals for that in a separate thread, along the
lines that we should focus on use cases, and in each one cover both
publication and use issues.


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