In response to:

Svenonius, Elaine. (2000) “The intellectual foundation of information organization.” Cambridge: MIT Press. Chapter 3.


Rust, Godfrey. & Mark Bide. (2000) The <indecs> metadata framework: principles, model, and data dictionary. WP1a-006-2.0.

Examining models and the principles behind the available models has got to be frustrating for persons who find it difficult to understand exactly what “document” and “work” mean in the context of organization. Generally, with either of these terms, one’s gut response to whether an item is a document or a work is likely to be correct. So too with most of the components of organization. “The intellectual foundation of information organization” is a work. I believe we are still reading the first edition of the book, as the updated edition is not yet available. I think I am accurate when I say that I was reading this chapter from the e-book edition. Though perhaps I should be saying that I am reading the e-book subedition. Which points out that these things are not as intuitive as we might originally think, and that our intuition of such things is derived from our experience with the organization models we have already worked with. All of which makes the idea of creating a reference model with automatic interoperability regarding metadata created by multiple sources in e-commerce transations between parties, well, daunting. But all the more necessary.

Oddly, I found the <indecs> reading compelling. At least, in regards to the principles and characteristics. Once I got into the data dictionary, I found the definitions to be so precise while still flexible enough to be usable that they were disorienting.

Thorny bits:

  1. I believe I understand what an ‘ur-work is (re: Domanovsky and superworks) from context, but it is an unfamiliar term which doesn’t respond to a quick search. I believe it means an originating work from which others are derived.
  2. The symbolic representations that Svenonius uses (ex: SWi = def {x: x is derived from c0038-01.GIF}) do more th confuse than to clarify at this point.

One response to “modeling

  1. Superwork: It actually refers to the abstract notion of the *set* of all works derived from an ur-work. We’ll talk about this some tomorrow.

    Set Notation: Agreed. It shows her definitions can be expressed formally, but you don’t need to understand the notation to get the ideas.

    I think we’d call the e-book of our text a different “version” rather than a different “edition” since the intellectual content of the e- and print are identical.

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