[foaf-dev] alternate names for people

Houghton,Andrew houghtoa at oclc.org
Wed Jun 2 15:28:04 CEST 2010

> From: foaf-dev-bounces at lists.foaf-project.org [mailto:foaf-dev-
> bounces at lists.foaf-project.org] On Behalf Of Ross Singer
> Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2010 09:04 AM
> To: Dan Brickley
> Cc: yves Raimond; Foaf-dev at lists.foaf-project.org
> Subject: Re: [foaf-dev] alternate names for people
> If the same resource is used (and we just use foaf:name/skos:altLabel
> to distinguish "identities"), how does an application know which is
> the proper label to display for a particular association?

Multiple names are all variants.  When an "agent" chooses one it 
becomes the preferred name *for that agent*.  For example, the
Library of Congress, an agent, may choose a preferred name from 
the list of variants, but the German National Library, an agent, 
may choose a different name from the list of variants.  Neither 
agent is wrong, that is why it's *preferred*.  So with *preference* 
there is some provenance that needs to be attached.  An application
is just another *agent* and can choose any of the variants, e.g.,
the first one or last one, whatever makes sense, or if there was
some sort of provenance attached to a variant the application
could choose the one it trusts the most as the preferred.

This is one of the short comings to using skos:prefLabel.  It is
just an annotation property and you cannot attach provenance by
making it a structured value.  The only way, I see, would be to 
use reification.


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