Posted in Sat, 23 May 2009 07:31:00 GMT
I recently had a discussion on taxonomies and ontologies for formal classification. These are often used to organize websites, databases, etc. ; however I havne't run into any real world applications where these are shared across multiple projects and software platforms using a develop once, use many approach. Looking around, I found a few open standards that are listed below, but I wonder if and how these are used in the wild. If anyone knows of successful, compelling implementations (of these or other) standards, please let me know.
- SKOS - Simple Knowledge Organization System: "a family of formal languages designed for representation of thesauri, classification schemes, taxonomies, subject-heading systems, or any other type of structured controlled vocabulary. SKOS is built upon RDF and RDFS, and its main objective is to enable easy publication of controlled structured vocabularies for the Semantic Web" according to Wikipedia. This standard has been developed for some time and seems to have some traction. There is some activity at the Library of Congress and Apache Forrest project. The W3C Glossary and Dictionary Project also put together a set of SKOS formatted glossaries.
- OWL - Web Ontology Language: according to Wikipedia, "a family of knowledge representation languages for authoring ontologies, and is endorsed by the World Wide Web Consortium. This family of languages is based on two (largely, but not entirely, compatible) semantics: OWL DL and OWL Lite semantics are based on Description Logics, which have attractive and well-understood computational properties, while OWL Full uses a novel semantic model intended to provide compatibility with RDF Schema. OWL ontologies are most commonly serialized using RDF/XML syntax. OWL is considered one of the fundamental technologies underpinning the Semantic Web, and has attracted both academic and commercial interest."
- TCS - Taxonomic Concept Transfer Schema: This is supported by the Drupal Taxonomy project.
Given the interest in the semantic web and semantic web standards, are we getting to a point where real life classification projects have started to use the XML standards, or are people still mostly using non-standard approaches (e.g. text files and spreadsheets) to manage this information?