[foaf-dev] Time to make the foaf classes relate to Dublin Core
richard at cyganiak.de
Wed Jan 23 12:24:18 GMT 2008
On 23 Jan 2008, at 00:13, Dan Brickley wrote:
> Thanks for raising this. I agree that the two classes have the same
> members. Had a chat with Tom Baker earlier too, and we couldn't
> think of any example "agents" that these two definitions would
> disagree about. The owl:sameAs relation, however, would be too
> strong, since the classes are different beasts. They have different
> history, provenance and other facts about them.
That's an interesting point of view. You've stated before that classes
and properties are “creative works”. Here you state that classes and
properties have history and provenance.
I don't like this point of view. It violates Occam's razor and muddles
a bunch of things.
I offer an alternative view here:
RDFS classes and properties cannot exist without documents describing
and defining them. This could be RDFS documents or prose
specifications, like the FOAF spec. Thus, the history and provenance
of classes and properties can be tracked by looking at the documents.
The documents also clearly are creative works.
Hence, I think it is much simpler, clearer and more natural to ascribe
history, provenance and expression of creativity to the documents that
define classes and properties; not to the classes and properties itself.
After all, it is clear and undeniable that the FOAF specification is a
creative work of yours. It is also undeniable that this specification
describes a class, foaf:Person, which contains all people. But do you
really want to claim that you are the creator of the class of all
As I see it, this class has always existed “out there”, and the
contribution of you and the DC folks is that you've described this
existing class with a certain level of formality, and given it a URI.
You did this by creating a document.
My argument boils down to this: It is futile to talk about who created
a particular abstract concept, or try to track versions of an abstract
concept. Let's stick to observable reality -- to the documents that
describe the abstract concepts. We know who created them, we can
version them. I think that this view of the world avoids a whole bunch
of thorny philosophical issues and is healthier for getting stuff done.
> But reciprocal subclass claims, or other OWL statements to same
> effect, would be fine. I've talked a few times with Tom about
> signing of RDF statement for this sort of thing, but for now I'll
> just add this to the next rev of the FOAF spec, unless anyone can
> come up with a counter-example.
>>  http://dublincore.org/news/2008/#dcmi-news-20080114-01
>>  http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/
>>  http://dublincore.org/schemas/rdfs/
>>  http://dublincore.org/documents/domain-range/
>> <mikael at nilsson.name>
>> Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
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>> foaf-dev at lists.foaf-project.org
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