Thursday, March 15, 2012

Re: [ACAT] RDA Implementation Date Set

On 14/03/2012 17:35, Kevin M Randall wrote:
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All we have to do is put in URIs and link them up? But what do the URIs mean? What does the heading represent? Does the heading mean "Romeo and Juliet" the play by Shakespeare? Does it mean the ballet by Alonso? Does it mean the motion picture by Zeffirelli? What does the record represent? Is the record describing a 35mm print of Zeffirelli's film? A VHS tape? A DVD? We need to know what the headings represent, and what the records represent, in order to make the links between these things *work correctly*. That is all FRBR is about, is identifying the elements and relating them. You're too hung up on WEMI, concerned that the user "doesn't care about" WEMI. While the people designing the catalog and creating the metadata have to know the things that FRBR talks about, the user doesn't have to know *anything* about FRBR, and good catalogs will avoid having anything like the FRBR terminology visible to the user. I don't know anything at all about diesel engine technology apart from the fact it needs diesel fuel instead of gasoline, and I don't need to know in order to drive my car; but I'm certainly glad that the Volkswagen corporation understands it fully, so my car works like it's supposed to.
</snip>

Yep, that's all you have to do to go into the linked data system, but then you make all kinds of queries. What is so cool is that today, we can make queries such as http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=ti%3Aromeo+and+juliet, and in the left-hand column, (after minimizing "Format"--Worldcat's user interface needs improvement), you will see lots of names. Go to "Show more" and you will find all the names you mention and more are there (again after minimizing the format), plus we see lots of problems of authority control in those names that need to be fixed. We can limit by languages, by dates. I confess I never have understood the topics, and yes, by format (that we kept minimizing). If Worldcat wanted to allow limits by publisher, including "fuzzy matching" that could be done as well.

I think most people would think this works much better than how FRBR is "supposed to". Also, these displays and searching capabilities can be improved. I agree with you that people do not need to know anything about FRBR, as this example in Worldcat demonstrates, but it also shows that *if* the purpose is to let people find, identify, blah blah blah, we can do it RIGHT NOW with tools that exist TODAY. Perhaps after implementing FRBR structures in toto, the final access may be almost as simple and easy as what we see here--but I doubt it.

And once again, all that we see here in Worldcat can be improved.

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