Are rules and their documentation distinct concepts?

The conceptual model has a class of Rules - that is, the rules that govern how a particular service operates. Those rules will be written down somewhere  but does such a documente constitute 'the rules' or the documentation of the rules? If the former then the URI of the rule document is the URI of the class. If not, then we need a property (wdrs:describedby) to link from the concept of the rules to their documentation.






Fri, 04/01/2013 - 20:40

This is an interesting question from a theoretical perspective. In my mind, however, the document with the written rules is a manifestation of the rules (in FRBR terms, see…), not just documentation. In my definition, documentation would be 'about' the rules while the rules document 'contains' the rules (which FRBR calls 'embodiment').

In FRBR, you would make distinctions between the rules as a conceptual entity (the work), its expression in a particular language (you could express the same rules in multiple languages), and the manifestation in a particular format (e.g. as written text or audio or video). In FRBR, you would have URIs for each of those, and then URIs/URLs where you could fetch the various files.

On the other hand, from a practical perspective, what practical goal would be served by having two different URIs for the conceptual rules and the rules document? Would it not confuse people?

Of course, you could still have documentation 'about' the rules, e.g. how they came about, what they mean in practical situations, where you can go complain about them etc. You could use the wdrs:describedBy for such documentation.


Mon, 07/01/2013 - 10:12

In my experience the practical solution is always the best.  As Makx says having two URIs is only likely to confuse so let's keep this simple and avoid any misunderstandings by using wdrs:describedBy as a separate property for the documentation about the rules if that is thought necessary.

Thu, 17/01/2013 - 17:00

Very happy with this outcome.

Rule and LegislationOrPolicy are both defined as sub classes of frbr:Expression so we get the full expressivity of FRBR for free.

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