[tdwg-tag] dwcterms (was: Embedding specimen (and other) annotations in NeXML)

John R. WIECZOREK tuco at berkeley.edu
Mon Feb 23 23:55:21 CET 2009

Comments inline...

On Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 8:29 AM, Hilmar Lapp <hlapp at duke.edu> wrote:
> Thanks John - this now works and loads into Protege. Great!
> A couple of random comments from a first inspection:
> - There are lots of individuals that seem to correspond to classes and
> object properties (and seem to be replaced by them, which sounds odd). Is
> this by intention?

I don't know what you mean by this. Can you give me an example?

> - There is a class 'none'. Why? (It doesn't have a definition either. It
> seems to be used to indicate that some properties don't have a domain, but
> if that's true why not simply not provide a domain for those?)

Shouldn't be a class 'none'. I'm removing it.

> - seeAlso often has the value 'not in ABCD', which is probably the wrong
> kind of value for this annotation.

None of those values is technically very useful, as they are
references to xpaths in a schema. As such, "not in ABCD" is no
different functionally speaking from any of the other values. If
seeAlso is not appropriate for this type of content (where is the
reasoning for that?), then there really should be another attribute
for this commentary. I just didn't want to have to make one if it
wasn't necessary.

> - There are two classes with label 'Taxon' (but different URIs).
> Intentional?

I see only one. What are the URIs?

> - Same properties and some classes have the date suffix in their label.
> Intentional?

Every one of them has a date suffix in its label as far as I can see.
What are the exceptions? Is it intentional to have the? Yes. It is
directly a consequence of the versioning mechanism.

> - Many classes and all object properties that aren't a subProperty have a
> date suffix in their identifier. Why, and if there is a good reason, why not
> all? Is term versioning the motivation? If so, are there so many updates
> expected that versions couldn't be handled by ontology releases (i.e.,
> versioning through the ontology namespace, such as in
> http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1).

Again, all of them have the date suffix as far I I can see. Yes, term
versioning is the motivation. They are all in the one document so that
the entirety of the documentation, including history, can be produced
from it. It isn't so much that there are a lot of updates expected as
that there is a lot of historical nonsense to resolve unequivocally.
Here it is all in one place.

> The date suffix will become part of the element name in OWL instance
> documents:
> <dwcterms:Taxon-2008-11-29>
>  <dwcterms:ScientificName-2009-01-21>
>        Ictalurus punctatus
>  </dwcterms:ScientificName-2009-01-21>
> </dwcterms:Taxon-2008-11-29>
> Or am I missing something?

No, you aren't missing anything. You're right. So, what is lacking in
the rdf is a set of current term names without date suffixes, such as
dwcterms:Taxon and dwcterms:ScientificName that can persist despite
versioning. That was the whole point of the persistent URIs for the
terms - so that dwcterms:ScientificName would persist despite the
details of its attributes. My automated construction of the rdf
document doesn't take this into account. The solution, I think, is to
add each base term without version information and give these terms
rdfs:replaces with the value of the term with the version number. This
would give a complete progression for any term up to the one currently
in use. I have done that in a copy of the file just committed. Does
that solve the problem adequately? Does it create any new ones?

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