Nate, what this says to me is that we need to work more collaboratively 
with others. This is what I hoped would come out of the NISO Bib 
Framework meeting (but unfortunately did not). I've been very frustrated 
with foaf - so much potential, and yet so un-realized. And it isn't 
being very actively developed anymore. So we can either roll our own, OR 
try to find a way to collaborate on standards for the Web, not standards 
for the library community only.

If we were, for example, a community of flat worm neuron researchers, it 
might make sense to develop our own ontology with little direct 
interaction with that of others. But the data that libraries will create 
is by definition not exclusive to the library use case -- our metadata 
describes people, intellectual resources, places, events, time periods. 
These are about as close to universal concepts as you'll get. There's 
probably nothing in our data that shouldn't be linking to someone else's 
information somewhere.

It makes me cringe a bit when I hear it, but it has been suggested that 
libraries are the logical organizations to take on the archiving and 
perhaps even maintenance of key ontologies. I know we don't have the 
funding for that and I am reminded of the poster that read: "What if 
schools were fully funded and the military had to hold a bake sale to 
buy an airplane?"

So I agree, Nate, with your assessment -- that we can't risk using 
ontologies that can change arbitrarily. But we could potentially become 
partners in those ontologies, just as libraries from different countries 
have become partners in MARC21 and BIBFRAME. Dividing the world at 
libraries/not-libraries is the problem. Well, the crux of the problem is 
that we'd have to hold a bake sale to get the $$ and staffing to be 
participants, and even that wouldn't cover it.



On 5/23/13 8:39 AM, Trail, Nate wrote:
> If you adopt someone else's terms, you are stuck with their definitions, and if they decide to change them, you have to revisit your decision: a constant maintenance headache.
> The foaf vocab is in Testing status, version 0.98. Are they going to change it before it comes out? Who knows?  Will they add something better like foaf:sortName that is more like a traditional library listing?
> Just coming up with a list of all the possible terms out there and fighting over whether they are close enough to use for each term we have will be a major use of time.
> On DC, people you might not be for it, but if we opened the BF vocab up, there might be a lot of clamor for it; it's so simple and it's all over the place!
> Nate
> PS I had a good laugh about the Unicode and ISO 639 "roll our own comment". I'm working right now on developing a computer that uses 2s and 3s instead of 1s and 0s.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: stuart yeates [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 5:31 PM
> To: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum
> Cc: Trail, Nate
> Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] re-using existing properties (was and the "lightweight abstraction layer")
> On 23/05/13 05:25, Trail, Nate wrote:
>> I think when you start reusing existing properties, you're relying on
>> them being around for the long haul, and requiring systems that
>> consume them to be aware of all the multiple namespaces.
> The "syntactic sugar" option used by madsrdf:hasCloseExternalAuthority does not introduce a new namespace from the users' point of view. The syntactic sugar can even be kept in a separate RDF file from the definition of the bibframe properties, making it second class and invisible to everyone who doesn't want it.
>   > In all cases, I can't
>   > see us (the library community) agreeing that the way foaf or dc (or  > whatever) uses a term really matches what we're talking about.
> Following that arguement we should also walk away from ISO 639, ISO 3166, RFC 3986, Unicode and so forth. None of them are perfect from a library point of view but all of the are better than rolling our own.
> [For the record I'm not suggestion using dc / Dublincore.]
> cheers
> stuart
> --
> Stuart Yeates
> Library Technology Services

Karen Coyle
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