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This is certainly true. It seems to me to imply that alphabetical order may be very important for indexing and for suggestion services, but not that it is important to create data that itself supports alphabetization. That's something that can and should be handled at the level of processing software.

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A. Soroka
The University of Virginia Library

On Jul 27, 2014, at 2:50 PM, Tim Thompson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Yes, alphabetical order for its own sake is not particularly helpful, but it can be useful as an information retrieval mechanism. For example, if you try to do a lookup for "London (England)" in the current version of the BIBFRAME Editor, you may be disappointed to find that your lookup retrieves a number of individual London locations, but not the top-level entity "London (England)" itself.
> 
> This is because the current lookup is not left-anchored, but rather does a keyword search over individual headings. In this case, simple alphabetical order would seem to make the lookup task easier. Hint: as one astute user discovered, if you do a lookup for "Londinium," you will in fact retrieve "London (England)" as the only result, since "Londinium" has been provided as a variant heading in the authority record for "London (England)" (and apparently appears nowhere else in the Name Authority File).
> 
> Tim
> 
> 
> --
> Tim A. Thompson
> Metadata Librarian (Spanish/Portuguese Specialty)
> Princeton University Library
> 
> On Sun, Jul 27, 2014 at 10:07 AM, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On 7/27/14, 3:41 AM, Thomas Berger wrote:
> With XML documents there was a distinction between data centric
> and document centric approaches, often characterized by the
> permission of "mixed content". Traditional bibliographic
> records somehow redundantly follow both approaches, i.e. you
> have "data" in MARC 100 and 700 and the same facts recorded again
> as parts of the text in 245$c. Especially in cases where the
> redundancy is not very high, i.e. when the form recorded in
> the statement of responsibility grossly deviates from the form
> given in the heading one would wish for additional markup
> linking the substring in the SoR with the heading or - like TEI does -
> embedding heading information in markup distinguishing the name
> in the SoR.
> 
> Now RDF (with string data types) enforces a strict data-centric
> view on our bibliographic situation which even in circumstances
> we usually consider as "pure data" fails to provide appropriate
> descriptions.
> 
> As I said earlier in this thread:
> 
> 3. I'm not convinced that it makes sense to convert the entire document that is a "bibliographic description" to RDF, any more than I would want to convert an entire web page to RDF. RDF was designed to surface the data hidden in web pages, not to turn the entire web into triples.
> 
> There are aspects of our data that are document-like, and I see no reason to force these into RDF if they don't fit comfortably. We need to turn the question around, from "How do I fit this into RDF?" to "What do I want to do with this data?" If we wish to provide users with notes about the resource, reviews, or handy hints as to where to find it on the library shelves, there's no reason that these have to be in RDF. If they are, it is for the convenience of processing, not because they result in useful RDF (which is, as you say, designed for linkable data).
> 
> At the same time, I question the need to carry forward certain practices, like reversing author names to the comma-delimited form, which exists solely to support alphabetical order [1]. We (will) have an identifier for the person, and we can have any number of display forms. We need to re-think our data for the web, not try to turn the web into a card catalog.
> 
> kc
> [1] Where I question alphabetical order: http://kcoyle.net/presentations/thinkDiff.pdf
> 
> -- 
> Karen Coyle
> [log in to unmask] http://kcoyle.net
> m: 1-510-435-8234
> skype: kcoylenet
>