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Re: simon:entity (or Identifiable)

From: Stephan Zednik <zednis@rpi.edu>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 00:06:43 -0600
Message-Id: <FBF17F24-4EA4-4BB1-AD72-7E93AFDA0DD8@rpi.edu>
Cc: "public-prov-wg@w3.org" <public-prov-wg@w3.org>
To: Ryan Golden <ryan.golden@oracle.com>
+1

--Stephan

On Jul 14, 2011, at 11:36 PM, Ryan Golden <ryan.golden@oracle.com> wrote:

> With apologies to Simon for hijacking his namespace, I'd like to take up Luc's suggestion to break off what he called the "simon:entity" proposal from the earlier thread into a separate thread.
> 
> Rationale
> --------------
> It should come as little surprise that some problems we are trying to solve by our design have been faced before by others in different contexts.  After poring over the thread between Simon, Jim and others, I discovered a design issue discussion at (http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Generic), published by TimBL, which bears a _striking_ resemblance to the discussion we're having on stuff, thing, entity, entity state, and bob.  While he does use the "R" word in some of the discussion, he makes the key observation that the identifiers we use every day have "multi-level genericity."  That is to say, some identifiers are very specific ("Halley's comet, as viewed from the Hubble telescope, on 1/1/2014, in JPG format"), others more generic ("Halley's comet").  The Web design, he states, "should not arbitrarily seek to constrain life in general for its own purposes."  Neither should we, I would argue.
> 
> Further, we may may make statements about "dimensions of genericity." That is to say that a) in relation to the thing it identifies, an identifier can be generic with respect to a particular dimension, e.g., in relation to the real Halley's comet, the "Halley's comet" identifier is generic with respect to time and content-type; and b) one identified thing may be generic in relation to another identified thing with respect to zero or more dimensions.  TimBL talks about the relatively small number of dimensions of genericity for electronic resources, whereas we are interested in the infinite number of dimensions (i.e., all possible properties) over which identifiers and things in the world (not just electronic resources) may vary.  The idea of "dimensions of genericity" gives what I believe to be a nice formulation for what we've been trying to discuss as "IVP of."  I leave the remainder of this discussion to a separate thread, however (please post any comments on this paragraph to that thread).
> 
> If I fail to express some of TimBL's ideas adequately, I strongly suggest you read the Design Note--it is brief and more well-written.
> 
> Proposal
> -------------
> Given both elegant formulations, I would like to propose we conflate the following concepts:
>     old:stuff
>     old:thing
>     f2f1:entity
>     f2f1:bob
>     f2f1:entity state
> 
> Into a single concept:
>     simon:entity (alternate suggested name: "Identifiable")
> 
> Which can be described as:
>    that which an identifier represents
> 
> And, importantly for IVP of:
>    A simon:entity/Identifiable may exhibit a different level of genericity in relation to another simon:entity/Identifiable with respect to zero or more dimensions.
> 
> --Ryan
Received on Friday, 15 July 2011 06:05:42 GMT

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