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Re: DDE, Debian Data Export

On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 05:37:46PM +0100, Olivier Berger wrote:
> One of the criticisms I could make (and made live at your
> presentation @FOSDEM), is the lack of semantics (as in Semantic Web
> W3C standards) there (somehow what I mentioned also in
> http://www-public.it-sudparis.eu/~berger_o/weblog/2009/02/10/udd-swim-flossmetrics-facts-databases-about-libre-software-distributions-going-semantic/
> for the curious ones).

One of the reply I could make (and made live to you after presentation
@FOSDEM)---intended pun :-)---is that DDE is not the place for what
you ask. DDE (AFAIU) aims to solve a real problem we have in Debian,
namely the heterogeneity of the:

1) location
2) formats

we use to "publish" data about Debian.

Adding an homogeneity layer which addresses such an heterogeneity is
good per se, but it gets you nowhere nearer having a semantic in some
ontology of Debian data. It is not surprising either. As always happen
with ontologies (and not necessarily only with those of the semantic
web), a clear semantics is mostly useful when correlating data coming
from different origins (say, different distributions, as in your use
case); it is way less useful when staying in the realm of a single
origin, which is exactly our case.

That notwithstanding, I understand that it might be useful and
interesting to move a bit nearer to your goal, but IMO that should be
done outside and as an additional layer on top of DDE.

As a personal suggestion, I think you should care more, in this early
stage, about having the pieces you would need to specify a
semantics. The first of such bits is probably the availability of
unique identifiers that unambiguously identify entities exported via


Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime

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