[tdwg-content] Comments on Darwin Core Issue 205 (the proposed Organism term)

Eamonn O Tuama [GBIF] eotuama at gbif.org
Thu Sep 18 14:28:56 CEST 2014

I think the case for opaque identifiers can be argued both ways. See, e.g.
discussion here [1]. Further to Hilmar's point about offering flexibility
around defining labels, I also like them because, especially for
new-comers, they help distinguish the concept from the label we apply to
the concept and do not give preeminence to the English label.

[1] http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontology-summit/2014-02/msg00028.html

> On Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 5:06 PM, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>
> wrote:
>> I still believe that a human-friendly name is very helpful.  The barrier
>> is
>> not the standard or how it's named.  The barrier is how humans interpret
>> and
>> implement the standard.
> I agree.
>>   Giving the class an opaque identifier (I would, of course, vote in
>> favor
>> of a UUID!) would probably create a barrier to progress through opacity
>> that is greater than the barrier of confusion through mis-interpretation
>> of
>> an imperfect human-friendly name like "Organism".
> I think this is a false conclusion. The Gene Ontology has been widely
> adopted, as have been other OBO ontologies, despite (or perhaps because?)
> opaque identifiers.
> I say parenthetically "perhaps because" because having opaque identifiers
> actually allows you to evolve and change labels so that they make the most
> sense, rather than being stuck with choices made early on because now all
> kinds of data uses those identifiers.
>   -hilmar
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