On 11/22/05, Marc Truitt <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Actually, I think 'sensible' is a better descriptor than 'arcane'.  I
> have no illusions that I can explain it more clearly than has Barbara
> Tillett in her posting, but perhaps this may help...

I'd call the FRBR/FRAR way for modelling this "sensible"; but not what
we see in MODS and MADS.

> Think of it from a database design perspective.  If you view books and
> persons who have some responsibility for them ('authors', for brevity's
> sake) as database objects, of which object (the book or the author) is
> the name 'Mark Twain' more properly an attribute?  The book _Tom Sawyer_
> or the person who also has the name 'Samuel Clemens'?  The 'arcane
> cataloguing practice' of authority control is designed so that the
> reader needn't know under what name Clemens wrote _Tom Sawyer_ (or any
> other of his numerous works).  If you regard the name as an attribute of
> the work, then you would either have to append every known variant name
> to each of his work objects or else you would have to settle for knowing
> in advance which variant name went with which work object, would you not?

No, this argument has always confused a number of things. For those
arguing this perspective, you are in part seeming to only view MODS
and MADS as long-term storage formats. But that's rather limiting.

James and I are both interested in end-user oriented citation
metadata, where those files might be generated on the fly from some
database. There the XML becomes a transport format basically.

But even there, if we were to do this in a relational way (say RDF), we'd say:

[a book] is authored by [a person]
[a person] has name [x] and alternate name [y]

Admittedly, it gets a little tricky to then indicate that the book is
authored by a person under their pseudonym, but I stand by my claim
that notwithstanding AACR2, it's completeely arbitrary to say that one
can include multiple titles in a MODS records, but not multiple names.

I certainly wouldn't use it to include different names like "Samuel
Clemens", but I would use it to include different language forms.