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> Do the best you can but no one
> can make time or meaning stand still. YMMV.
Sure they can, in the form of contracts. Essentially that is what OWL is
for right-- a contract about the nature/meaning of a particular piece of
information? Sure, those considerations will change over time but that
is what versioning is for?
Semantic drift is to be expected, and I'll grant that it is a problem
but that doesn't mean it makes the whole process useless. I know that
the fidelity of an MP3 recorded from a CD and an old cassette are two
wildly different things. I know that converting the MP3 to another
format and back will likely involve some loss-- but it doesn't mean that
the information is useless, I just have to approach soberly.
Code lists are great, shared code lists are more great-- but for each
level you go out you have to keep in mind that there will be some
lossiness. Fine. Still, sign me up-- if I have a program that can auto
map 1800 out of 2000 fields reliably, I'll use it.