Propose disambiguatingDescription on Thing #880

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vholland opened this Issue Nov 6, 2015 · 13 comments

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@vholland
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vholland commented Nov 6, 2015

Systems like Wikipedia/WikiData often have a short description to help disambiguate entities. For example, the Wikipedia page for "Phobos" lists the many entities by that name, allowing users to determine the page for the Greek god vs a moon of Mars, or the comic book character.

Wikidata calls this property "description", but I think we want something different so consumers do not need to determine which description is the disambiguator and which is the true description.

I would like to add disambiguatingDescription or even disambiguator to Thing.

@vholland vholland self-assigned this Nov 6, 2015
@Aaranged
Aaranged commented Nov 6, 2015

+1. This will be especially useful if the coder does not provide a sameAs for URI-based disambiguation, or if there is, indeed, no identifier she or he can use for the Thing being declared.

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
  "@context": "http://schema.org",
  "@type": "Book",
  "name": "My Unpublished Book",
  "character": [
    {
      "@type": "Person",
      "name": "John S.",
      "disambiguatingDescription": "This the the character that sent the blackmail letter in Chapter 1, not to be confused with the John Smith introduced in Chapter 17."
    },
    {
      "@type": "Person",
      "name": "John Smith",
      "disambiguatingDescription": "This is the character that appeared in Hyde Park in Chapter 17, not to be confused with the John S. who sent the blackmail letter in Chapter 1."
    }
  ]
 }
</script>
@danbri
Contributor
danbri commented Nov 7, 2015

If something text is a 'disambiguatingDescription' of a thing, then it will also meet the criteria of being its 'description'; we should probably declare any new property as a sub-property of 'description'.

I quite like the idea of doing something like this, because in practice 'description' varies wildly from huge slabs of text (sometimes including markup or escaped markup) to super short strings.

@rvguha - any thoughts?

@rvguha
Contributor
rvguha commented Nov 7, 2015

Yes, I like disambiguating descriptions :)

guha

On Sat, Nov 7, 2015 at 2:37 AM, Dan Brickley notifications@github.com
wrote:

If something text is a 'disambiguatingDescription' of a thing, then it
will also meet the criteria of being its 'description'; we should probably
declare any new property as a sub-property of 'description'.

I quite like the idea of doing something like this, because in practice
'description' varies wildly from huge slabs of text (sometimes including
markup or escaped markup) to super short strings.

@rvguha https://github.com/rvguha - any thoughts?


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#880 (comment)
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@vholland vholland added a commit to vholland/schemaorg that referenced this issue Nov 13, 2015
@vholland vholland Issue #880: Added disambiguatingDescription and example. 1418a3e
@vholland
Contributor

See pull request #891

@Fred-Laurent

In the Wikipedia example given by @vholland , there is a need to list (and disambiguate ?) the different entities for a given name. So could it be possible to add 'Thing' as an expected value for 'disambiguatingDescription' ?

So we could have :

<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "Thing", "name": "Phobos", "disambiguatingDescription": [ { "@type": "Thing", "name" : "Phobos (moon)", "description" : "A moon of Mars", "sameAs": "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phobos_(moon)" }, { "@type": "Thing", "name" : "Phobos (mythology)", "description" : "the Greek god of horror", "sameAs": "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phobos_(mythology)" } ] } </script>
@danbri danbri pushed a commit that referenced this issue Mar 18, 2016
Dan Brickley Noted addition of disambiguatingDescription #880 1c0398b
@danbri
Contributor
danbri commented Mar 18, 2016

Merged for review in v2.3, http://sdo-deimos.appspot.com/disambiguatingDescription

I'm convinced by the Wikipedia usecase.

@darobin
Contributor
darobin commented Mar 21, 2016

Question: would it be viably useful to use this for the subtitle of a CreativeWork (where the title is the schema:name)?

@danbri
Contributor
danbri commented Mar 21, 2016

@darobin perhaps sometimes, but it feels a stretch to suggest that all subtitles will always be adequately distinctive to consider them by definition disambiguatingDescriptions. What you suggest feels more like it lives on the content creation / curation / metadata management side, where authors of subtitles are encouraged to give good descriptions. (this is a bit vague since we don't afaik have a subtitle property; are you suggesting we need one? )

@darobin
Contributor
darobin commented Mar 21, 2016

Yes, I agree it feels like a stretch (hence the question :).

The situation we have is that of articles that always have a name and may commonly also have a subtitle. We don't want to smudge them all into a list of name because there may already be several, with differing languages. We've also considered alternateName but you can't use the subtitle as an alternative to the actual name.

One thing that does seem to match is additionalName, but it's only for Person. I tend to think that allowing it on CreativeWork would make sense — probably more sense than using disambiguatingDescription I guess :)

@danbri
Contributor
danbri commented Mar 29, 2016

On reflection, I think we are currently underspecified here.

Consider:

  • a Person with "disambiguatingDescription" of "Former Governor of Texas" - does this feel ok? or too ambiguous? (usecase is #1061 fact-checking schema).
  • does it have to be completely disambiguating? or perhaps along with other properties like "name": "Rick Perry"?
  • Another example: A Person with name "John Smith" is under-specified; if you add disambiguatingDescription: Former leader of British Labour Party you get https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Smith_(Labour_Party_leader)

I suggest amending "A sub property of description. A short description of the item used to disambiguate from other, similar items." to say

"A sub property of description. A short description of the item used to disambiguate from other, similar items. Information from other properties (in particular, name) may be necessary for the description to be useful for disambiguation."

@danbri danbri pushed a commit that referenced this issue Mar 29, 2016
Dan Brickley Clarified that information beyond this property may be needed for dis…
…ambiguation.

Discussion: #880 (comment)
5d661c1
@danbri
Contributor
danbri commented Mar 29, 2016

http://webschemas.org/disambiguatingDescription updated accordingly - please take a look

@danbri danbri closed this Apr 28, 2016
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