Discuss User manual

From semantic-mediawiki.org

Couple of questions spring to mind:

  1. How are these semantic concepts typically implemented in MW/SMW/SF?
  2. Also how do the more familiar concepts of relational modelling map onto these concepts?

Cheers, --Dan Bolser 13:06, 20 December 2010 (CET)

Needs work[edit]

This page is interesting, but it needs work:

  • I think it should be renamed, since of course "concept" is already an SMW term.
  • I would move it out of the "Help" namespace, since it's more of an essay reflecting a particular view about data.
  • On that note, if it is an essay (it refers to "my father"), it should be marked as that, with you as the author.
  • I disagree with this view of classes - I don't see "Dutch national" as a class (in most cases), but rather as a combination of a more generic class like "person", plus one or more properties/attributes. I think that's true of both SMW and in data structuring in general.
  • "relations" as a term no longer exists within SMW. I guess this page is trying to say that this is a standard term within "semantics", but I don't know that that's true.
  • More generally, this page is supposed to be about "semantic technologies" in general, and SMW only as an example of it, but (a) that might be confusing to users, unless it's made clearer at the top; and (b) it's not clear to me that any of this stuff is standard and agreed-upon in all semantic systems, other than the idea of triples.

Those are my thoughts. Yaron Koren 14:09, 20 December 2010 (CET)

Yaron: My replies in order of your notes:
  • I am not a native speaker; I know the page is about concepts, but the only English thesaurus I own has no different words for "concept", only the explanation "that what exists in the mind as the product of careful mental activity". And since it is a set of concepts that I'm attempting to explain, it is quite important to label the page as such. I don't know what to do other than to provide a link to User manual for those seeking that specific subject. I'd love to hear suggestions.
  • This page is not an essay. It is a help page explaining concepts fundamental to SMW, that many users apparently find very very confusing, and which the user manual does not seem to explain elsewhere. If the concepts described here were common knowledge, then I could see a point in leaving it out of the user manual, much like the concept of "file" not being explained in the help pages of a word processor like OpenOffice Writer or Microsoft Word. However, even quite recognizable concepts such as styles and templates are actually described in word processor help documentation - why not explain the fundamentals of SMW?
  • This page is not an essay. If my trying to make the examples more lively contravenes some SMW-manual guideline, I'd be most happy to change the examples to more appropriate ones.
  • Dutch national as a class: most descriptions of classes that I've come across state something like "elements of a certain aggregation" ("foundations of semantic web technologies" p. 46), and any Dutch national is certainly an element of the aggregation of "the Dutch". On the other hand, some people have multiple nationalities, lending credibility to the notion that nationality can also suitably be modeled as a property. Let's say the example is not clear enough, even though it is technically valid. I'll find a better one.
  • It may be true that "relation" as a term does no longer exist in SMW as a separately coded instance, but
a) it does exist as a (very basic!) semantic concept, and
b) it is a valuable concept in semantic modeling, and
c) SMW does treat properties of type "page" differently from all other property types (e.g. redlinking).
  • This page is not specifically describing semantic technologies in general, but rather specific semantic technologies that underlie SMW. I'll try to make this more clear.
Thanks for the feedback! --Jan "Saruman!" S. 15:16, 20 December 2010 (CET)
Well, it seems to me like it is an essay - after all, I think it reflects one particular set of views about how data is structured: I don't believe a term like "relation" is an official, well-defined term among Semantic Web people. (Although I could be wrong - do you have any references for that one?) On a related note - maybe this page would belong better on the semanticweb.org wiki, instead of here? I still think it makes more sense as being about the Semantic Web in general (or maybe even "semantics" in general), rather than SMW - after all, SMW doesn't use the term "class" or "relation".
And, if it's done as an essay, how about "Saruman's guide to semantics"? Yaron Koren 17:23, 20 December 2010 (CET)
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