Re: bibliographic issues

From: Richard Newman <>
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 10:49:08 -0700

This is unfortunately a very complicated topic.

It's not enough to hang properties off the person -- and not just
because you want sequencing of components or somesuch. Consider a
person with more than one name.

One can't make another foaf:Person, and relate them through
owl:sameAs. They will be smushed together, and information will be lost.

However, we also lose information if we just attach multiple
properties to the person. Which givenname goes with which surname?

It's even worse when you consider transliterations. Which Japanese
name is transliterated into which English name?

Consider Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba. This is one way that I'd
represent his names, using back-of-napkin properties. Please excuse
any errors, I'm no good at Japanese.

:osensei a foaf:Person ;
   :complexName :osenseiName , :fullName .

:fullName a :ComplexName ;
   foaf:name "植芝盛平"_at_jp ;
   foaf:name "Morihei Ueshiba"_at_en ;
   foaf:givenname "Morihei"_at_en , "盛平"@jp ;
   foaf:surname "Ueshiba"_at_en , "植芝"@jp .

:osenseiName a :ComplexName ;
   foaf:name "翁先生"_at_jp ;
   foaf:name "O Sensei"_at_en .

More thorough might be to (a) put the names in rdf:Alt containers,
allowing for multiple different transliterations of the same name to
the same language; (b) reify further, to allow properties to describe
the relationships between names. These would need more thought.

On top of this we also need structured name components to
bibliographic standard, but we'll leave that for another time :)


On 2 Aug 2005, at 10:15, Eric Miller wrote:

>>> Solutions for 'english only' are a non-starter. I'm curious if
>>> you think the following example would capture these requirements.
>>> <foaf:Person rdf:about = "&foo;">
>>> <foaf:name xml:lang="jp">杉本重雄</foaf:name>
>>> <foaf:name>Shigeo Sugimoto</foaf:name>
>>> <foaf:givenname>Shigeo</foaf:givenname>
>>> <foaf:surname>Sugimoto</foaf:surname>
>>> </foaf:Person>

>> How will the software know how to correctly sort and format Mao?
>> If the primary name is mandarin, then it should be formatted as
>> is? But then how do you know which is the primary name and which
>> is transliterated? I'd almost want to add a transliteratedName
>> property.
> I'm not sure I follow why you'd want or need this property. If I'm
> a japanese cataloger, which is the transliteratedName, the english
> one? I'd argue neither, they're simply the same "name" in
> different languages.
> In your above example, you seem to be asking for a sort algorithm
> to be performed based on particular properties and particular
> languages. This makes sense, but I don't quite see the need for a
> special property per se for this, but rather a property / language
> pair. In the case above, you'd ideally like japanese (or other)
> translations associated with the properties givenname, surname as
> well.
Received on Tue Aug 02 2005 - 17:45:59 EDT

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