[tdwg-content] [Fwd: Re: NCD and DwC]

John R. WIECZOREK tuco at berkeley.edu
Wed Sep 16 20:00:02 CEST 2009

Comments inline.

On Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 6:47 AM,  <renato at cria.org.br> wrote:
> John,
> If by inertia you include lack of participation, I have to agree with you.

Well, I wasn't thinking of it exactly that way, it is just that,
having been at this standards development for DwC for 11 contiguous
months, I know it isn't easy.

> Anyway, I was just trying to understand why you say that it will be a mess
> to use the fielded text solution for sharing NCD records in the current
> way the terms are identified. Looking at the DwC fielded text
> documentation (http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/guides/text/index.htm) I can
> only see two places that need to reference terms:
> 1) In the metafile, where each <field> element needs to reference a term
> by the complete URI. In this case, NCD URIs don't seem to be much longer
> or uglier than the other ones just because they contain a hash symbol.
> Considering the possibility of using NCD terms in DarwinCore, the standard
> DwC metafile already mixes namespaces because of Dublin Core terms. By the
> way, I think the example metafile is using wrong identifiers for Dublin
> Core terms:
> http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/examples/text/example_text_simpledwc_complete.xml
> 2) In the text file header, where people can use any field name assuming
> there's a metafile, so there's no problem here too. And if there's no
> metafile, the specification says that the text file could still be
> understood if the header references "Darwin Core terms". From the example,
> I think this means using the term name (i.e., a local identifier). I would
> suggest being more explicit in the specification saying "Darwin Core term
> names" and adding a Dublin Core term in the example to make it more
> complete.

You are absolutely right. I was actually just thinking of the Simple
Darwin Core text files with no meta file. Your clarification
suggestions are good. I have implemented them for the next version.

> Considering the possibility of using NCD terms in DarwinCore, I guess the
> corresponding term names would look like ncd:collectionID or
> ncdterms:collectionID - as defined by DarwinCore.
> Anyway, I'm not sure there's enough motivation or broad support from the
> community to make changes in NCD at this point. Unfortunately not all of
> its creators are involved in the discussions and I'm aware there are
> applications already written for NCD (such as the Biodiversity Collections
> Index), so there may be other implications when changing it. Please take
> my original suggestion as just an attempt to make these two TDWG standards
> complement each other. I'll still be happy with the original design for
> the collection* and institution* DarwinCore elements.

Thanks for your thoughtful suggestions and understanding.


> Best Regards,
> --
> Renato
>> I'm moving this conversation into tdwg-content to weave together the
>> conversation for all.
>> Sorry about the confusion. The conversation has progressed in this
>> side thread beyond my proposal in the tdwg-content list.
>> I'm not sure what you mean by shield, but yes, the idea is to make
>> sure they are minimally affected by whatever may happen to NCD. To me
>> that means using a refinement, technically.
>> Yes, at least from the process perspective there is still an
>> opportunity to rework NCD, as it hasn't fully progressed through the
>> standards process. It is now at essentially the same stage as Darwin
>> Core, though I expect Darwin Core to be ready for Executive Review
>> this week, while NCD may take longer.
>> I agree that consistent conventions would be nice across standards.
>> Ultimately it will help all of our stakeholders. But DwC is the first
>> to follow the vocabulary-first paradigm in the footsteps of Dublin
>> Core. I can imagine inertia or resistance for other standards in the
>> TDWG family.
>> On Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 10:41 AM,  <renato at cria.org.br> wrote:
>>> Hi John,
>>> Initially I had the impression that you repeated the same proposal that
>>> you sent to the mailing list, but now I see what you mean. Sorry.
>>> So the idea is to actually shield DwC terms, not exactly refine the NCD
>>> ones. I would prefer to see NCD terms being directly used, but I
>>> understand your position. Although we have the chance to change NCD, I
>>> would feel better knowing Roger's opinion about this. It's a strange
>>> situation because in theory we shouldn't be changing NCD. It is already
>>> fully ratified (or am I wrong, Wouter?). So we shouldn't expect changes,
>>> unless NCD decides to release a new version and go through the TDWG
>>> process all over again.
>>> I definitely agree that we should try to define and use the same
>>> namespace
>>> and naming conventions across our standards.
>>> --
>>> Renato
>>>> I think my solution is already congruent with what you are saying,
>>>> Renato. My proposed solution is to declare these DwC terms as formal
>>>> refinements of the NCD terms. If the NCD terms change between now and
>>>> when that standard gets ratified, all DwC will have to do is change
>>>> the refines attributes - no one in implementation will be affected.
>>>> That aside, I think it would be best if NCD followed the established
>>>> DC pattern of term identification, not just for consistency, but also
>>>> for usability. I can definitely foresee people wanting to use the
>>>> fielded text solution for sharing NCD records, and the way the terms
>>>> are identified now that will be a mess.
>>>> Here are the terms I have proposed and their formal refinements.
>>>> dwc:institutionCode refines
>>>> http://rs.tdwg.org/ncd/terms/Institution#Code
>>>> dwc:institutionID refines http://rs.tdwg.org/ncd/terms/Institution#Id
>>>> dwc:collectionCode refines http://rs.tdwg.org/ncd/terms/Collection#Code
>>>> dwc:collectionID refines http://rs.tdwg.org/ncd/terms/Collection#Id
>>>> dwc:ownerInstitutionCode refines
>>>> http://rs.tdwg.org/ncd/terms/Institution#Code
> --
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