In beginning our journey into “frbrization”, I have gone over the list of fields in the OL record and have separated them in terms of Work and Edition. http://openlibrary.org/about/work_edition. Comments welcome. Note that we haven’t yet grappled with “expression” in terms of FRBR, but I’m not sure that we’ll be able to have a separate level for expressions since we may not get the data that we need to make that distinction. I suspect that some expressions will get treated as editions (manifestions, in FRBR-speak) and others will be treated as Works. For example, we probably will not have a way to know when a book is a translation of another book. That would be an expression in FRBR, but it may be treated as a Work in OL until we find some way to bring together the translations for a work.
Tuesday morning last week I went by the VTLS booth in the exhibit hall at the IFLA 2008 conference. What a friendly bunch of people they are! They did a demonstration of their new FRBRization service, which I posted about a couple of weeks ago. It’s very interesting and I was impressed. I took a few pictures and I’ll go through what they showed and tell you what I remember of it.
You run a library. You have your catalogue on the web. (If you use VTLS’s catalogue front-end, Virtua, you can do all the following stuff yourself. If you run some other system, you’ll link out to VTLS’s web site to make things work.) Let’s say you search for
adventures of tom sawyer. You get the usual list of results; in this case, three books were found.
Notice the “FRBR Display: See related information (FRBR)” link. Forget about the wording, the important thing is what you see when you follow the link
This shows a work-expression-manifestation display.
The adventures of Tom Sawyer - Twain, Mark, 1835-1910 (highlighted) says what the work is. (There shouldn’t be a plus sign beside it, because there’s nothing to expand, and the things below it should be indented, but that’s a minor presentation thing so overlook that.)
There are two expressions:
non-musical recording - English and
Books - English. The first expression has one item each of two manifestations, one on CD and one on cassette. The second expression is the written text of the work, and there are five items of print manifestations. Books. The catalogue found three different copies of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, representing three manifestations, but this FRBRizing tool found two more that have different titles.
All of this was automatially done by VTLS’s FRBRizing algorithm, they said. They can take a set of MARC records and run through them looking at the 008 field, titles, uniform titles, main entry, author entries, everything, the more the better, and pull out the works, expressions, and manifestations. From what they said this Tom Sawyer example came from real data from real catalogues.
Clicking on one of the manifestation titles changes what’s displayed on the right-hand side of the screen, as I recall. The full MARC view is turned on above, but it could show the information in the usual online catalogue format, and link back to the original library’s catalogue to the user can place a hold etc.
You can see how it would be possible to put a “Get any copy” button at the expression level. If someone wants to read Tom Sawyer and they want to read it as soon as possible, then the system can find the first available item of that expression and give it to them. There’s no need why the user should have to check all five manifestations to see where an item is free.
VTLS makes MARC records for the work, expression, and manifesation. Here’s a view of the hierarchy breakdown for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6. You can see the name of the work at the top, and then lots of expressions, each identified by the orchestra and conductor. (Performance date could go hear too.) One of the expression views is expanded and you can see three manifestations are listed: the LP, the cassette, and the CD.
FRBR really does work well for music, as this shows. In the box in the bottom half of the screen is the MARC record for the work itself, Symphony No. 6. There’s a 240 Uniform Title field, but not the 245 Title Statement, because that belongs to the manifestation. They’ve put in a local field, a 990, saying “Work,” and the 999s are other local fields, I assume holding information about the FRBRized view.
This is a new service they’re offering. I asked if it would be possible to get them to FRBRize my catalogue and then have my system use web services on their servers to get the FRBR information when I need it, and they said sure, that’d be possible if people wanted it. With that a library wouldn’t have to send users from their own catalogue to VTLS’s web site, it could grab the information as it needed it (in XML, JSON, whatever) and display it locally to the user.
It occurs to me as I write that if libraries had this interface made and then opened up their data to everyone, so we could all see what manifestations went with what expressions and works, we’d all be better off. We’ll see. Until then, keep an eye out for people starting to use VTLS’s service. It looks like the best vendor implementation out there. I thank them for showing it to me, and congratulate them on their hard work.
Thursday, the last day of programming at IFLA 2008, was when the Working Group on Aggregates met. Ed O’Neill of OCLC is the chair, and there were six others at the table, including Barbara Tillett and Judy Kuhagen of the Library of Congress. The three of them were the most active in the discussion, though I think Maja Žumer would have spoken up too had she been there. About a dozen people watched, most of whom I recognized from earlier FR* meetings.
There were three handouts for group members, and, generously, we observers all got a copy. The discussion centred around two things on the agenda, so I’ll just summarize what was said. No decision was reached, so there’s no official answer on how FRBR will handle aggregates yet.
Here are the “data model principles” that had been set out in some earlier discussions to help test the three ways of modelling aggregates;
- Inheritance: Properties (attributes and relationships) are inherited by subordinate entities (children) from superior entities. The properties of a work are inherited by its expressions; the properties of an expression are inherited by its manifestations; and the properties of a manifestation are inherited by its items.
- Universality: If an entity is a work in any of its manifestations, it must be a work in all of its manifestations. [O'Neill explained: the criteria for deciding if something is a work shouldn't depend on its manifestation.]
- Distinctness: A non-aggregate work is the smallest distinct and autonomous entity.
After that they got on to the three models they had been considering:
- Work-of-Parts Model: The aggregate as a whole is a work; individual components are simply parts of the work. [Tillett pointed out that "component" already means "component work" in FRBR and they didn't want to confuse the terminology.]
- Manifestation-of-Works Model: The manifestation is an aggregate of works and may include an “aggregating” work.
- Work-of-Works Model: Aggregates are works that are comprised of other works.
No-one had any other models to consider, and nobody there thought the first one was valid, so it came down to Manifestation-of-Works (with O’Neill as main advocate) vs. Work-of-Works (with Tillett as main advocate).
A few points from the discussion:
- Tillett said inheritance holds down through Work, Expression, Manifestation, Item, but there’s no inheritance between Works in the Work-of-Works model. There is a Work-to-Work relation (whole-part, sequential, etc.) between them, with no inheritance happening.
- There’s a difference between an aggregate that’s an augmentation, for example adding an introduction to a novel, and one that’s a collection, for example putting the three novels of a trilogy together into one book. Kuhagen made the distinction between pre-formed and post-formed collections, where the difference is when the decision to make the collection was made.
- But none of that matters for this discussion, Tillett said, and she said something she repeated a few times through the meeting: FRBR is meant to work at a high conceptual level, and not get into applications. (Applications as in “the model applied to this situation,” not application as in “computer software.”) FRBR should only think about aggregates in general, any kind of aggregate, and not worry what type an aggregate is. That level of detail belongs in applications of the model, where people can make their own local rules and interpretations.
- O’Neill said there would probably eventually be a subclassing of aggregates, because they are not all the same. This could be done in a FRBRoo way.
- What if in different applications of FRBR there are different rules about what a work is? O’Neill asked. How can we share information if we don’t agree on what a work is? “We can link it,” Tillett said. She agreed that something could be a work in one application but not in another, though theoretically it really is a work.
- O’Neill said that many things are works don’t need to be recognized as such, for example a very short introduction to a book. But that’s a local implementation decision, and if the introduction were to be recognized, it would have to be recognized as a work of its own. Everyone agreed on that. The universality rule was reworded to use “can be” instead of must: “If an entity is a work in any of its manifestations, it can be a work in all of its manifestations.”
- There was some discussion about the distinctness principle and whether it begged the question of an aggregate being a work of works. They all went to a draft report and looked at something and clarified that a list was ORed, not ANDed.
- In the end only the distinctness criteria was seen as useful: inheritance doesn’t apply to Work-of-Works and universality as modified is a given so it’s not useful as a test.
- They got into a metaphor next to think about an “aggregating work.” Take Patrick Le Boeuf’s special FRBR issue of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, which contained articles by many people. It was also released as a book. O’Neill said each chapter is an independent work, but Le Boeuf’s role as an editor is that of an aggregator. Each article is like a brick, and Le Boeuf’s intellectual contribution was to make the mortar that holds all of the bricks together into a new work. That mortar is an “aggregating work.” The aggregate work is the whole wall of bricks and mortar.
- Tillett said there was no need for this. The articles and the books are all just works, and they are related to each other. That’s all.
- Gordon Dunsire spoke up from the audience with an objection to this “aggregating work” idea, I think saying that if you take three bricks and put them together with mortar and call that new thing a brick, then you have bricks containing bricks, and it gets recursive and you get into problems. You can’t have a brick containing other bricks. (This reminded me of Russell’s paradox.)
Eventually they decided on a bake-off. They would take some examples and represent them using both the Manifestation-of-Works model (O’Neill and Žumer) and the Work-of-Works model (Tillett and Kuhagen). They would look at those and decide what to recommend as the amendment to FRBR. The examples will be: a collection of music by Sibelius (based on an example Eeva Murtomaa brought), an augmented version of Humphry Clinker (with an introduction, illustrations, that kind of thing), Le Boeuf’s FBBR journal issue/book, and a moving image to be decided (I’d guess a DVD with extras). In order to have this all done by next year’s conference in Milan they need to have the recommendation done for February, so they’re going to get the modelling done before October.
This working group meeting was really lively and fun to watch. I’m glad I went.
Late in the afternoon two days ago, Wednesday 13 August, was the second meeting of the FRBR Review Group here at IFLA 2008. I had to work on some unexpected stuff with a York colleague so I missed the first half hour of the meeting. When I arrived, back in the same room as the first meeting and the FRSAR meeting had been and the WG on Aggregates meeting would be, there were six people at the table (Patricia Riva chair) and fifteen observers.
They were talking about FRBRoo, “F – R – B – R – O – O” as most of them called it, but “furburroo” as I call it. A few scattered points I jotted down :
- Something (I missed what) in FRBRoo means that until at least one expression exists, the work does not exist. That clarifies an existing philosophical problem.
- Riva noted that really all manifestations are aggregates: the dust jacket design, the author photograph, etc., are all additions to the core. (The relative importance of those additions is another matter, as the Working Group on Aggregates discussed the next day.)
- In the FRBRoo mappings, Corporate Body in FRBR is matched up with Group in CRM. They are different, though, and some things are groups that aren’t considered corporate bodies in the library world. Something may get subclassed.
- There was more discussion about FRBRoo, remaining work to be done, what will happen next, etc. and general agreement that it, and object orientation, are not simple to understand.
- They will look into the possibility of working with the archives community.
- Riva pointed out something that Robert Maxwell noted in his book. The definition of the Person entity (3.2.5 in FRBR) says, “For the purposes of this study persons are treated as entities only to the extent that they are involved in the creation or realization of a work (e.g., as authors, composers, artists, editors, translators, directors, performers, etc.), or are the subject of a work (e.g., as the subject of a biographical or autobiographical work, of a history, etc.).” According to that there’s no place for a Person as producer of a Manifestation or owner of an Item. Corporate Body has the same note. There seemed to be general agreement that this was wrong.
- Maja Žumer pointed out that FRBR, FRAD, and FRSAR don’t or won’t all perfectly match up. People who implement them will find problems. How to keep up with all of that? Things are in flux, but people are getting on and building FRBR implementations even though there are known problems and some work still being done. Some discussion about that. There are organizational issues within IFLA about who reports to who and ho the different groups are organized and which reports to what.
More to come about the Working Group on Aggregates meeting the next day.
Yesterday morning at 8:30 I went to a Web 2.0 discussion group meeting. I missed Karen Coyle (she spoke by webcast or recording, and wasn’t there), and then heard Karen Calhoun (OCLC) talk. Next she, Stephen Abram (SirsiDynix), and Patrick Peiffer (there to speak for Creative Commons) had a panel discussion and took questions from the audience. The panelists were all interesting but as usual some of the same old topics (are libraries still relevant? what is it with tags, anyway?) came up.
After that I went to the meeting of the Working Group on FRANAR, which (there were some name changes) is finishing up work on FRAD: Functional Requirements for Authority Data. They are very close to putting out the final version and wrapping up work.
There were thirteen people at the meeting. Glenn Patton (OCLC) is chair, and he and five others sat at one corner of a large square of tables in a large and otherwise empty room. Two people sat in another corner, I sat alone at the third, and four others clustered at the last. Patton started the meeting, summarized some past activity, and said the goal was for the group to wrap things up soon.
There were a few things to cover based on comments on the last draft:
- They’re going to add a relationship between Family and Corporate Body.
- There was a lengthy discussion about Person-to-Name (or Family- and Corporate Body-to-Name relations) and Name-to-Name relations. The way FRAD works, Person is an entity and Name is an entity. They are related. A Person can have a pseudonym. That is another kind of Name and the relation might be hasPseudonym/isPseudonymOf. But what if a Person has a Name in an early form and another Name in a later form? Are the Names directly related (they are both entities, so they can be) or are they only indirectly related, through the Person? They discussed this kind of thing for almost an hour and a half. Section 5.4 will be changed and some relations pulled out into a new Name-to-Name relationship section.
- Some stuff from the FRSAR meeting was gone over. RDF modelling and reversible relationship names are important. “isKnownBy” is hard to reverse but something like “isAppellationOf” and “hasAppellation” might work. There’s a difference between Major as a title and the role of being a major. And Major as a title is different from Jr. or Sr.
Patton wrapped things up, summarized what remained to be done, and said they’d have the final version ready to present to higher up in the fall. They want to get the final vote on approval done quickly, so FRAD should be all done in a few months, as I understood what was said and how IFLA works.
The sustained mental energy and focus of the people on the Working Group (and two of the observers, who were quite involved) was astounding. They worked for over three hours without stopping and always kept up good spirits. They spent some time on nitpicking details like any group editing a final draft has to, and other time on deep philosophical issues that will underpin cataloguing and authority rules for a long time to come. In my notes I wrote, “These people are incredibly focused. Their attention never flags. This must be what the negotiations about the Treaty of Ghent were like, but with fewer frock coats.”
Another interesting meeting. Keep your eye out for the final FRAD report.
Just because I didn’t post yesterday doesn’t mean there wasn’t FRBRosity happening at IFLA 2008. I just got busy with stuff, and then there was a huge party where everyone swarmed the tables and ate all the food, then half of the people were driven away by loud disco music and the other half got down with their bad selves on the dance floor.
- I went by the VTLS booth and saw a demo of their FRBRization service I mentioned a little while ago. I was quite impressed. It’s far beyond what any other vendor is doing. I took some pictures but can’t get them uploaded from where I am so my report will have to wait.
- In the American Library Association booth there’s a screencast running that shows how the online Resource Description and Access (RDA) system will look, and some of how it will work. I was told it will get posted on the web soon. There’s no example in the demo of how to actually catalogue an item, I assume because that bit isn’t working yet, especially since RDA isn’t finished, but if it goes well it looks like it could be a good system for managing and customizing a pretty complicated business. The ways workflows can be handled will be worth watching.
- Athena Salaba and Yin Zhang have a poster up about their research project, summarizing the results from their Delphi analysis.
Your faithful correspondent continues to cover all things FRBR at the IFLA conference. At 4 PM there was a two-hour session about cataloguing with four presentations. I missed the first one, by Liz McKeen of Library and Archives Canada, but caught most of the second one, by Mirielle Huneault of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. Nothing FRBRy in her talk, as I recall.
Next up was Beacher Wiggins of the Library of Congress: “The Library of Congress Takes a Look at the Future of Bibliographic Control.” It was a review of WoGroFuBiCo and the LC’s response to it, and neatly summarized what had happened and why and the major points of the report. Naturally FRBR came up, given all of the business in WoGroFuBiCo about suspending work on RDA. Wiggins said FRBR wasn’t tested well yet, but had proven very useful in helping people understand things, and the RDA testing that will be done will test FRBR.
Finally Patrice Landry gave an overview talk: “IFLA to the Rescue: How Division IV (Bibliographic Control) Is Responding to New Issues in Bibliographic Control.” He is the chair of the division, and he went over what it has done in the last couple of decades and has on the go now. There was a lot. Of course FRBR, FRAD, FRSAR, and FRBRoo were mentioned.
After that there were some questions from the audience, and FRBR (or RDA) came up in all of them. My former prof, Lynne Howarth, formerly a member of the FRBR Review Group, asked a good question about training and educating people to go into cataloguing and bibliographic control, and part of one of the answers from the panel was that students should be given a firm grounding in FRBR.
So there you have more excruciating minutiae about mentions of FRBR at this IFLA conference. FRBR is a part of every cataloguing discussion now, either directly or through RDA. It’s interesting to look back and see how things have developed over the last few years. Who knows where things will be in ten years, and how it and everything else about bibliographic control going on now will change things. As I’ve said before, things will only get freakier.
At first I thought it was the pint of cider I’d knocked back over lunch that made the discussions of the Working Group on Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records (FRSAR) difficult to follow, but I soon realized that the problem was my complete lack of knowledge about what they were discussing.
There isn’t much about FRSAR on the public web, and the IFLA web site doesn’t even list the current working group (WG) members, though it does say Marcia Lei Zeng is the chair and Athena Salaba and Maja Žumer are co-chairs. There were twelve people at the table (later joined by David Miller, making thirteen!), and I caught the names of some other others: Ed O’Neill and Diane Vizine-Goetz of OCLC, Lois Mai Chan, Jonathan Furner, Päivi Pekkarinen, and Dorothy McGarry. I apologize for missing the others.
For some background, have a look at these:
Here’s an extract from an ALCTS newsletter from February 2008 that gives the gist of it:
Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records group (FRSAR) members have had several meetings through emails, conference calls, and face-to-face meetings since May 2006. Major outcomes include the definitions of user tasks, a proposal of a new model, and a plan for the final report.
The group held three meetings on August 20 and 24, 2007 at IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Durban, and extensively discussed the proposed model and Group 3 entities. Major outcomes may be summarized as:
- FRSAR confirms what FRBR has already defined: WORK has-subject THEMA. “Thema” is the term used temporarily to refer to anything that is the subject of a work. Thema includes any FRBR entities.
- FRSAR proposes the new relationship: THEMA has the appellation NOMEN. “Nomen” is a term used temporarily to refer to any alphanumeric, sound, visual, etc. symbol or combination of symbols by which a thema is known, referred to or addressed.
- The THEMA-NOMEN relationship is consistent with what FRAD has proposed in its draft report, to separate what a thing is (the concept) from what it is known, referred to or addressed (its name, label).
- FRSAR group plans to have a draft final report available in the spring of 2008.
To turn up other stuff, search Google for frsar and keep your eye out for mentions of “thema” and “nomen” because you’ll be hearing a lot about them later this year when the FRSAR draft comes out (or so is the plan).
Glenn Patton of OCLC was at the table to discuss FRAD, he chairing the WG on that, and FRAD took up the first hour of the meeting. He said they’d made some changes to the latest draft based on comments, and part of it will be removed and made available separately.
There was some involved discussion of what is an entity, why name and controlled access point are two different entities and not the same, etc. Patton said they wanted to separate the attributes of a person, the names by which they are known, and the access points by which they are found. It seemed easiest to do this by having different entities. Person is related to name is related controlled access point. “Define your entities at least in part by what you want to do with them,” he said, which is why, for example, Family and Agency are different from Corporate Body though they’re really kinds of Corporate Body. It all got rather philosophical and detailed as did, indeed, the entire meeting.
There was discussion of Title and Other Designation as part of name or not. E.g. Jr, III, Professor, Mrs. Discussion of difference between LCCN numbers (as identifier of a record about a person) and social insurance numbers (as identifier of a person). People are unique, but their names aren’t, so we need unique identifiers. But an identifier is a kind of name!
Around 2 the Patton grilling stopped and everyone turned to their FRSAR draft, which no-one else has seen, so the five or six observers were a bit out of it.
Žumer led a discussion about just what a thema is. It’s an entity, it’s a superclass, it’s a supertype, it’s what FRAD calls “bibliographic entities” in its Diagram 2, it’s “things that can potentially enter into subject relationships” as Furner put it. Work is in a many-to-many relationship with Thema, and Thema is in a many-to-many relationship with Nomen, which is basically the name of the subject, as I understand it. (Just as a in FRAD Person and Name are different entities. The map is not the territory.)
It was all getting quite philosophical in here about the nature of a thing in itself and then how we discuss it and name it and how we represent it in our systems. I’ll be honest with you. I zoned out a bit in here. Figures 5.7 and 5.8 of the FRSAR draft were scrutinized. There was more discussion of attributes of entities, then a look at “the Italian model,” and then at 3 they took a break. I left them to it and after a quick chat with Žumer and Vizine-Goetz in the hall I obtained a strong cup of coffee.
This meeting, of a Working Group, was an interesting contrast to the FRBR Review Group. FRSAR doesn’t exist yet, so a table full of experts get togther for two four-hour meetings this month, on top of online discussions and meetings at ISKO and other conferences, and hash out drafts and discuss them and argue over fundamental issues of subject records and how to model them. It’s a slow process. The FRSAR draft should be quite interesting when it’s out, and as FRAD moves to the final version it’s all fitting together, with each of FRAD, FRSAR, and FRBR affecting the other. Slowly it’s all locking into place.
I’m at the IFLA 2008 conference in Quebec City, and just got out of the first meeting of the FRBR Review Group. Here are some notes for those of you who couldn’t be here. I’m writing this on my Eee in the lobby of the convention centre, so forgive me for hyperlink skimpiness.
The meeting began at 8:30 AM in a room that was as far away from the entrance to the convention centre as seems humanly possible. Chairs were set up in the room and there was a table for the Review Group members to sit at … but the chairs all faced away from the table. About eighteen observers were present so we all had to turn our chairs around to face the table, which left us staring at the backs of half of the Review Group. Seven of nine of them were present.
Patricia Riva, chair, distributed the agenda, the annual report (which will go online sometime soon, I think), and a report from Gordon Dunsire which was discussed later. She explained some business about terms of service on the Group and renewals and elections etc.
Next she went through the annual report:
- Various new translations of the FRBR Final Report have been done: Chinese, German, etc.
- Some objectives from the strategic plan were met, for example the amendments to the definition of the Expression entity were made.
- They will be thinking about further changes to FRBR that might be necessary given work on FRAD, FRSAR, FRBRoo, etc., and working with those groups, the ISBD people, etc.
- Work on FRBRoo is continuing. Draft 0.9 came out earlier this year and comments will be reviewed at another meeting. Work on the RDF namespace is continuing. More on both of these below.
- They will support implementations: “Moral support,” said Pat Riva, “we don’t have a budget.”
- Patrick LeBoeuf would like someone to take over the FRBR Bibliography. Some discussion of that.
- Some discussion of the mailing list
Ed O’Neill of OCLC is chair of the Working Group on Aggregates. They are meeting Thursday so nothing is final yet, but he talked about what they’d done and what they generally agreed on. An aggregate is “a bibliographic unit comprised of multiple works,” they all say. The Expression amendment meant changes to thinking about aggregates, because it shifted some things (like a work with a new introduction) from being a new expression of a work to being two aggregate works. Is a bibliographic unit an aggregate or a work in itself? He said the amendment about doubled the number the number of aggregates out there. It puts the emphasis on the intellectual side, not the physical manifestation, and they’re thinking along the same lines. “Is a journal an aggregate of articles, or is it a work in its own right comprised of parts?” Thursday they will review some guidelines that will help people decide on such matters.
O’Neill said the FRBR Report is vague on exactly what a Work is, which makes it hard to discuss aggregates. Lots of nodding at that. He said there were three approaches to thinking about modelling:
- work of works model: there’s a hierarchy of works, for example a journal is a work made up of other works
- manifestation of works model: an aggregate is not a work in itself, it is a manifestation of works
- work of parts model: the simplest but least attractive intellectually; a collection of novels by a writer is a work, and the novels are just parts of it.
The three models are incompatible, but they all have advocates. In a report (not available online, I don’t think) they tried modelling different aggregates with each of the three models to see how they looked.
More will be known after the Thursday meeting. They are determined to be done before the IFLA meeting in Milan next year.
Next was an update on the FRBR/CRM FRBRoo collaboration. The draft received some comments, and they will give close scrutiny to any major problems at the next meeting in a couple of days, and then wrap everything up by e-mail. People are starting to use FRBRoo and want a stable finished version, so they’re going to push along to wrap it up.
The last major thing in the meeting was about representing FRBR in RDF and setting up a proper schema and namespace. Gordon Dunsire had done a project to get this going and you can see his work in the NSDL metadata registry sandbox:
These will be moved out of the sandbox and into the proper registry soon and become provisional.
There was a lengthy discussion about what to do next, mostly involving administrative and organizational questions that you’d expect at any international organization. I’ll skip them. The upshot of it all is that the Review Group will recommend that IFLA get things in place so that an IFLA namespace exists where this FRBR schema (and expected schemas for FRAD and FRSAR, and who know what else around IFLA) can be housed. “Everything is moving in the direction of the Semantic Web,” Dunsire said, and IFLA should be ready.
So after review and approval and the finding of a proper home, there will be an official RDF schema representing FRBR, authoritative and accurate, properly maintained, under version control, etc.
After all that time was running out. Priorities for future work are the RDF schema and the namespace, and FRBRoo. “Attributes in general are an issue,” Riva said, and perhaps there will be a working group on them. The meeting was adjourned a little after 10:30.
In Galen Charlton’s ALA 2008 Conference Notes: ALCTS FRBR Interest Group from late June, he said John Espley of VTLS had talked about an online FRBRization tool, designed be software as a service.
I e-mailed Espley to ask more about this, and he explained, and I quote:
The FRBR SaaS (Software as a Service) is as you wrote “new and experimental.” In summary, the way it will work is:
- Non VTLS library extracts their bib records and sends them to VTLS Inc.
- VTLS Inc. will analyze the records for potentially FRBR records.
- The identified potentially FRBR records will be placed in a Virtua database and FRBRized.
- Using “web services” (similar to how book jackets and other media are displayed in an OPAC) there will be a link on the records in the non VTLS library’s OPAC that will redirect the user to the FRBRized records in the Virtua database.
- There will also be a link from the FRBRized records in the Virtua database back to the non VTLS Library’s OPAC.
This is all new, but expect to hear more about it as things develop. If you happen to be at the IFLA conference in Quebec City next week, look for the VTLS booth, where people can give a demo. How this will compare to xISBN and thingISBN will be interesting to see.
I’ll be at IFLA too, and I’m going to sit in on everything FRBR-related that I can. I’ll write about it here. I’m always glad to meet people that read this, so say hello.