Subject Re: Re: eP(S)A comparison
From Keith Hazelton <hazelton@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date Fri, 28 Aug 2009 11:43:28 -0500

Comments below

On Aug 28, 2009, at 06:56, Peter Schober wrote:

* Andrew Cormack <Andrew.Cormack@xxxxxx> [2009-08-28 09:25]:
What I was trying to get at were the automatic subsets - e.g. if I
am "faculty" then I am also "member" - since differences there
seemed to have the most potential for messing up service providers.

Actually sets (of sets) shouldn't be relevant -- which is why I did
not take this any further back in 2007.  Instead, *all* affiliations
that apply should be released for a given person. Service Providers
then maybe don't have a single piece of data to require, but get more
control in turn.
By not aiming at the relations between those terms but at the
invidivual affiliations themselfs we don't get into the game of
incompatible hierarchies. *But* we'd still have to roughly agree on
those basic affiliations (e.g. an employee is on an institutions'
payroll and will usually be shown in institutional directories -- or
whatever, I am making this up).

Maybe this is undoable as well on a global level, but if we don't
agree on the basic building blocks, how does studying the differing
relations these incompatible terms have will produce much insight?
  If this is what's already happening, I think we need to shift our
focus away from "extensional definitions" (what affiliations are
"included" by what other affiliations) to "intensional definitions"
(what are the basic characteristics we're after, when we say "student").

Also eduPerson is not written in stone, so besides expanding the
controlled vocabulary, maybe (just maybe) the definitions/intensions
of some of those values could rely slightly less on intuition and
local interpretation in the future? OK, you may stop laughing now ;)

When the laughter subsides, and people dry their eyes, Peter's last paragraph is worth a second look. I imagine we'd all like to see the eduPerson spec and emerging federation and inter-federation practice align as much as possible. That could include agreeing through some yet-to-be specified process to revise the specification to provide less ambiguous semantics of the current affiliation controlled vocabulary and/or the expansion of the controlled vocabulary to include widely useful and muliti-federatiion-supported new affiliation values.

          --Keith Hazelton (MACE member)