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

renato at cria.org.br renato at cria.org.br
Wed Sep 16 15:47:48 CEST 2009


If by inertia you include lack of participation, I have to agree with you.

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:


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

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.

Best Regards,

> 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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