Tuesday, 21 October 2014


In the light of renewed activity and general interest in FHISO, I’ve decided to bypass STEMMA V2.3 — which was still in draft form — and push on to STEMMA V3.0. This specification is now published on the STEMMA Web site, and will better support FHISO’s analysis of this and other data models.

The online documentation for STEMMA was getting a little out-of-step with the R&D project itself, and there were a number of known, but hard, problems that I was trying to put off until a later time.

This change was, therefore, quite large and involved removing excess flexibility, in order to simplify its application, and addressing failings such as:

  • Could not inherit from an Event entity when it had Detail elements in it.
  • No representation of top-level research reports.
  • Could not represent the Properties for unidentified or incidental people in a given source.
  • Overloading of Role Property with relationships.
  • Problems representing a “directed Property”, to another entity reference, as opposed to, say, Head.Wife.

The actual changes include:

  • Reversal of Person-to-Event (etc) links to place Properties in the Event, alongside the respective source details. This also means that STEMMA now has a much closer concept to a persona than it did before.
  • Added References element to the Event entity for representing subject references in the sources, and their respective Properties. This element supersedes the previous Detail element.
  • Introduction of “abstract” entities for the sole purposes of software inheritance.
  • Made Event hierarchies bottom-up rather than top-down for consistency and ease of validation.
  • Deprecation of parameter substitution into Citation URIs; both named parameter markers and the ‘=?’ form.
  • Inclusion of NARRATIVE as a top-level Dataset entity for research reports and authored works.
  • Changed semantic types on Properties and Parameters to use “DC:” namespace prefix rather than simply “DC.”. DCType attribute changed to SemType.
  • Reinstatement of Event-specific Property values to represent named items of information for an event, such as when and where.
  • Explicit control over entity-Key imports for multi-Dataset Documents and multi-Document collections.
  • PersonEL, PlaceEL, and GroupEL data-types added for Properties that describe a relationship between two subject references, such as person-to-person.
  • Addition of ‘Header’ TEXT_TYPE for details of authorship, title, etc., in narrative works.
  • Adjustments to NAME_VARIANTS to move the Type attribute, add an Initial=’boolean’ option for using initials, an indication of cultural style, and an optional override for character sorting.
  • Added optional PersonalName (within Person entity) to complement PlaceName (in Place) and GroupName (in Group).
  • Revise syntax of <Constraints> element to associate narrative with a specific constraint, e.g. to express causal relationships.
  • Added optional coordinates to a Place in order to represent a point, an enclosed area (i.e. polygon), or an open line (e.g. for a street).
  • Separation of Relationship from Role.
  • Several new event-types and event-subtypes.

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