On 5/10/2011 5:48 PM, Lars Aronsson wrote:
One thing that I would like to do in Wikipedia
A category that spans a scale, e.g. people by date
of birth. Today we use [[Category:1823 births]] to
group people born in that year, where the category
page has links to the previous and next year, and
possibly to supercategories by decade or century.
This gets to one of the big
missing pieces of the semantic web, in
my mind. I call them parametrized categories.
Let :L be some topic in DBpedia, and assume it's not one of the 1%
or so bogus topics like "List of X"
If there is :L, then there's also a category which is
:Books_About(:L) and if :P is a person, then there is
:People_Who_Dated(:P). Then there are categories like
:Metals_That_Melt_Between(1000C,1000C) and of course Union(:C1,:C2),
It's all very nice but at some point you want to be reasoning about
things rather than materializing zillions of categories that somebody
might care about. Take a look at the bottom of
if you want to see the agony of Wikipedia categories. I mean, yikes!
Why is one thing there and not another thing?
Once we've made the sin of materializing
Intersection(c:American,c:Actor,c:Politician) why don't we also
materialize Intersection(c:Actor,c:Politician,c:Athlete) and all the
other combinations of the attributes that :Arnold_Schwarzenegger has?
What's particularly infuriating is that the categories are a badly
denormalized rats nest. Is there some robot that goes around making
sure that people who have a birth date in 1947 get listed in
:1947_births and not in :1948_births? Wouldn't it make more sense to
just code the birth date in a controlled manner and generate the birth
year 'categories' on the fly?
And don't get me started on how the categories don't tile
together. A few years back I wanted to make a list of automotive
nameplates (c:Toyota_Corolla, c:Chevy_Mailbu) but there's no category
that these all are in. You might find c:Models_of_Toyota_Cars, and
c:Cars_That_From_A_Long_Distance_Look_Like_Flies and you need to merge
these together and still edit out things that don't belong.) What a mess!
One of the advantages of using SMW over the present category structure
would be to end the continual argumentation about what sorts of
cross-categories are acceptable---in particular, to use the example of
people, whether they should be categorized by ethnicity - profession
intersections, e.g., American Jewish athletes. Unimaginable rancour
arises from such discussions--see WP:Categories for Discussion at the
enWP for examples.
At present they decision of whether or not to make a category is
decided by the vague concept of presumed usefulness together with the
inapplicable one of political correctness; there would be much to be
gained by letting the user combine anything they might happen to want
on the fly rather than have these pre-determined.
DGG at the enWP