[Crm-sig] ISSUE Form and persistence of RDF identifiers

Richard Light richard at light.demon.co.uk
Mon Jan 22 16:37:59 EET 2018

On 19/01/2018 13:36, Martin Doerr wrote:
> Dear All,
> We never continue an alphanumeric designation when there is a
> significant change in definition. You can take for granted that
> continuing the
> designation means that the change is not significant.
> The case below (P148) should be due to an internal processing problem,
> and will never reoccur. It is characteristically the last property of
> this edition.
> The reason, if I am not wrong, was that we got out of sync with the
> ISO version with the latest changes. Since the ISO team does in
> general not respect our
> continuity concerns when there was parallel work, we had some times
> the bitter choice between our continuity and not to create a different
> branch from ISO for
> typical reasons. Probably should have been explicitly justified.
OK, thanks for the explanation.  Though I don't understand why 'ISO'
(who, exactly?) was doing active development work on the CRM.  I thought
that they simply took the SIG's work through the ISO formalization process.

> Since we have discussed for years the issues with changing labels, I
> repeat quickly the reasons:
> Labels are taken for mnemonics, and people associate, even they
> shouldn't, semantics with it.
> Therefore labels change when they render better the concept and
> serious misunderstandings can be reduced following explicit community
> requests.
> The fact that the alphanumeric code is continued, marks absolutely
> clear that this is a change of name and not meaning.
> Labels are also translated, and work as mnemonics of the respective
> language.
> Therefore labels are not part of the definition.
> The rest are considerations of use, and a question of utilities, which
> cannot dictate our practice.
> Anyone working in an IT environment should have access to someone
> doing the trivial task of mapping label changes in his S/W,
> if he has chosen to include labels in the URIs without "same_as"
> statements. Please consider in your requirements, that continuity of
> meaning is as important as comprehensibility. We cannot follow advise
> which considers only one side of the medal.
I think that this argument is perfectly valid for the 'Definition of
CRM' document.  However, by publishing an RDFS expression of the CRM we
are moving, whether we like it or not, into the realm of 'utilities'. 
People are picking up and using our RDFS definitions in a variety of
ways.  In this particular implementation context, I would argue that we
should ensure that there is a label-free version of each CRM class and
property.  Also, our guidance on the use of our RDFS implementation
should recommend the use of this label-free version, on the grounds that
we cannot guarantee the stability of the version which includes a label.

This talk of preferred labels and your mention of the labels in other
languages leads me to wonder whether anyone has produced a SKOS version
of the CRM.  This might be a useful exposition of the logic of the CRM,
expressed in a format which is widely used and supported.  We could have
'preferred labels' for each concept in as many languages as we like.  A
SKOS version would be no use for instance data, because each SKOS
concept is itself an instance, in OWL terms, but it might be a powerful
tool for expressing relationships between concepts in different schemes,
i.e. exactly the purpose for which the CRM was originally created. 
Thoughts, anyone?

Best wishes,

> F10 was deliberately declared as "F" in FRBRoo to be an FRBRoo concept
> "same as" E21, for didactic reasons. There is no continuity break.
> Please let me know if there is anything wrong with this.
> All the best,
> Martin

*Richard Light*
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