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Datuments - data and documents

Lorcan 1 min read

Murrary-Rust and Rzepa discuss ‘datuments’, where a datument is “a combination of data and document created using formal markup to allow the processing of individual data components”.

A datument is a hyperdocument for transmitting “complete” information including content and behaviour. We differentiate between “machine-readability”, merely that a document such as a JPEG image can be read into a system, and “understandability”, where the machine is supplied with tools which are semantically aware of the document content. Examples of the latter are domain-specific XML components such as maps (GML), graphics (SVG) and molecules (Chemical Markup Language, CML). Understandability may require ontological (meaning) or semantic (behaviour) support for components. Neither are yet fully formalised but within domains it is often possible to find that certain concepts are sufficiently agreed that programs from different authors will behave in acceptable manners on the same documents. We shall assume that most scientific disciplines can, given the will, support machine-understandability for large parts of their information. [From Hypermedia to Datuments: Murray-Rust and Rzepa: JoDI]

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