Adieu to Published Subjects

I've learnt those days that the OASIS Published Subjects Technical Committee, which I've chaired for two years from its foundation in August 2001, was closed. Actually it was officialy closed by OASIS in November 2006, but I had not received any notification from anyone. Sounds like learning the death of an old friend months after.
Actually the activity of the TC was dormant since the publication of its first and somehow unique deliverable Published Subjects: Introduction and Basic Requirements. This output does not seem much after two years of work, but it figures there was not much more we could achieve. In a recent private exchange about the future of Published Subjects, Patrick Durusau, who chaired also this TC after 2003, still wants to believe that it is not the end of it, that the work has stalled mainly by lack of task force, but maybe anyway this TC was a case of premature specification.
I think that the notion of a published "identification" of a subject, whatever you want to call it, is probably a good idea, so long as anyone can add their identification of the same subject. On the other hand, a notion that this *is* the identification of a subject, well, that leads to losing propositions like the stuff you find at Swoogle. How many different identifications of person are there?
I already set this question here two years ago. Amazingly enough, the figures does not seem to have changed since (399 answers by today).
I take the opportunity to point to this paper by Patrick. If you have not figured out what a subject can be, even after an extensive reading of this blog (or don't care going into so much reading) this is a must. Short, clear and to the point.


Linking Open Data

This is a challenging project for Semantic Web technologies. Weaving together open public data, such as Wikipedia or Geonames, and public ontologies and vocabularies such as Wordnet, etc. Of course I had to be involved in that. But consensus will be hard to achieve. Initiators are folks from Leipzig and Berlin universities, involved in dbpedia, a project to RDF-ize Wikipedia content.
I've pushed the idea that linking concepts from different schemes should not be done on the basis of too strong ontological commitment, but of some kind of loose coupling using e.g., SKOS mapping vocabulary, and why not blank concepts. This proposal has not been well received, to say the least.

I'm in general against using bnodes for anything! They should be deleted from the RDF spec and they are especially harmful in a linked data context, where everything should be dereferencable.
And Richard Cyganiak adds:
Yes, sure ... I understand why you want to introduce the blank node. But I don't like it. Why do you generate data? You want it to be useful. How does this blank node increase its usefulness? It doesn't. It's just a fig leaf to cover up the fact that your model is just an approximation of the real world. But we know this. Every model is. And these "semantic rubber bands" don't change this fact -- they just make your data harder to work with. Be bold! People who want to re-use your data will learn to work around its quirks and idiosyncrasies. Dealing with the quirks is a part of re-using data, it always was, and it always will be.
So much for my hubjects ... but this is not the end of it. More to come.

Changing blog title

I know, changing names, like changing URIs, is a silly idea. Cool names never change. But I decided yesterday to re-activate the original univers immedia in French. And since 'The wheel and the hub' has definitely been for a while and certainly will continue to be, the motto of this blog, it had to make its way up to the title.