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Re: simon:entity (or Identifiable)

From: Khalid Belhajjame <Khalid.Belhajjame@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2011 14:30:33 +0100
Message-ID: <4E219279.7030504@cs.man.ac.uk>
To: Jim McCusker <mccusj@rpi.edu>
CC: Luc Moreau <l.moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>, public-prov-wg@w3.org

> If it is possible to know, there should be assertions on the BOB
> itself that say which entity the BOB is describing. Ideally, this is a
> URI of something that's referenced within the BOB.

Although we didn't vote for this in the F2F meeting, I thought that's 
was the point of introducing the concept "entity" as part of the 
vocabulary, as opposed to the term "Stuff" which was simply used 
informally in the definition of "thing".


> Jim
> On Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 7:53 AM, Luc Moreau<l.moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>  wrote:
>> Hi Ryan,
>> Over the last two weeks, there has been a gradual confusion about terms.
>> To me, "stuff" and "activity" were not concepts we were trying to define.
>> We were stating that there are stuffs and activities in the world.
>> These words had to be understood with their informal/natural language
>> meaning.
>> When defining PIL concepts, we were then using these terms.
>> For instance, a process execution is an activity.
>> This had plenty of advantages for explaining the concepts,
>> and how to use them with respect to the world.
>> Given this, I am saying it is not right to say we should conflate
>>    stuff and thing (or f2f1:entity and f2f1:bob)
>> since the former was intended to be a normal word we use in natural
>> language, and the latter was intended to be a concept we define.
>> In other words, in a spec, I was expecting "stuff" to be in normal font,
>> whereas "thing" would have been in bold/typewriter, or written pil:thing.
>> For instance, a<bold>ProcessExecution</bold>  is an activity.
>> Simon got away with it, by replacing stuff/f2f1:entity by the word
>> "anything".
>> Ryan, you are avoiding it, because you use "that" instead.  (BTW, your
>> text uses the term thing too! informally!)
>> It makes explanations very difficult when we don't have a word such as
>> stuff,
>> especially when we want to say that there are multiple perspectives over a
>> same
>> stuff. This is why both the words pil:thing and stuff were used in the
>> definition of IVP of.
>> I am all in favour of simplifying definitions, but your proposal is
>> preventing us from using an English word, which is very convenient to have
>> when defining or explaining or concepts.
>> In the meantime, until we gain an understanding of all our concepts,
>> I propose we keep on using the term stuff (or f2f1:entity) in our
>> explanations.
>> Regards,
>> Luc
>> On 15/07/2011 06:36, Ryan Golden 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 Saturday, 16 July 2011 13:31:14 UTC

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