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Re: Comments to the working draft 4 of DM

From: Jun Zhao <jun.zhao@zoo.ox.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2012 21:15:31 +0000
Message-ID: <4F440973.9080108@zoo.ox.ac.uk>
To: Luc Moreau <L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
CC: Paul Groth <p.t.groth@vu.nl>, Provenance Working Group WG <public-prov-wg@w3.org>
Luc,

>
> Jun, just a reminder, we are asking whether this document can become an
> editor's draft!
> So, it is currently a draft of a draft and in no way finished!

Because this is the first time of me reading this model document, all 
the confusions don't help me with judging what's the matter with this 
draft of draft. But all the explanations have been helpful! Thanks!
>>>
>>> ==Definition Repetition==
>>> Section 4 repeats many definition, actually by my request, so that for
>>> each term we have its definition. It acts as a glossary of terms.
>>
>> I think section 4 is the right place for definitions, because that's
>> what that section is for. But section 2 is meant to give overviews,
>> right? Do we need that sort of formality in section 2? It just looks
>> complex and verbose, purely from a presentation point of view.
>
> What do you mean formality? what is complex? verbose? each "so-called
> definition" is about 2 sentences long.

I think this is just my personal preference. When I read an overview 
section, I prefer it to be something explanatory, rather than simply a 
list of definitions. With the current formatting, it takes at least 4-5 
lines, with the examples, to read each definition. I am not strong on 
this. It's a personal preference.

I understand better that you are more looking for feedback on the 
re-structuring. At this stage, I am still curious to know what you mean 
by "core" and "common".

Luc: "Regarding the split core vs common relations, this is becoming the 
4th  iteration on the model, and no suggestion has been made about what 
should be moved from one to the other. Do you have concrete suggestions?"

And there are also wording of "main" in the current draft:

"This section provides an overview of the main elements and relations of 
the PROV data model. "

These are editorial, but a precise understanding about "core", "common" 
or "main" might also impact on the structuring.

And two things less editorial (although I am still a bit confused about 
the level of feedback you want for this draft of draft:().

1. When I read the primer and the PAQ document, I liked very much the 
emphasis on the immutability nature of entities. This is a crucial 
concept in PAQ and crucial for guiding provenance publication for Web 
resources. However, this is not strongly emphasized in the current draft 
of draft at all. I strongly hope this will be brought out in the next 
version of some sort of draft, because this is very important!

2. As I mentioned before, we didn't describe what we mean by data model. 
There are a mixture of terminologies used to refer to classes/elements 
or properties/edges/relations. It confuses me. What terminologies should 
I use when talk about DM? And it confuses me even more when trying to 
understand what Generation, Use, Association, and Derivation are. Are 
they elements or relations? I think this is also something to bear in 
mind when preparing the next something draft.

btw, I didn't raise any technical issues because my understanding is 
that this is not the place nor time for them. It doesn't mean that I 
don't have any:)

Cheers,

-- Jun
>
> Luc
>>
>> HTH,
>>
>> -- Jun
>>>
>>> cheers
>>> Paul
>>>
>>>
>>> Jun Zhao wrote:
>>>> These comments are respect to the DM working draft 4,
>>>> http://dvcs.w3.org/hg/prov/raw-file/default/model/working-copy/towards-wd4.html.
>>>>
>>>> accessed on February 17, 2011.
>>>>
>>>> First of all, as my first time of reading the DM working draft, with my
>>>> very fresh pair of eyes, I would like to say well done to the group.
>>>> There are a lot of very interesting ideas in the model document,
>>>> clearly
>>>> reflecting a lot of deep thinking about the problem domain. And I like
>>>> very much the position of the DM as for an interchange language. So
>>>> well
>>>> done, guys!
>>>>
>>>> However, if the main goal of this new version of the working draft
>>>> is to
>>>> simplify what we had, particularly to enable "an upgrade path, from
>>>> 'scruffy provenance' (term TBD), to 'precise provenance' (term TBD)", I
>>>> am not sure this goal was achieved!
>>>>
>>>> Here are what I think and why:
>>>>
>>>> 1. In the introduction section, there is no such introduction about
>>>> 'scruffy provenance' (term TBD), or 'precise provenance' (term TBD). I
>>>> think this is a key that should be brought in the front, and which
>>>> should be used to structure the rest of the document. And this is not
>>>> the case atm, IMO.
>>>>
>>>> 2. The Overview section: I am not sure I see much difference between
>>>> this section and the section giving definitions to the 'core'. I would
>>>> rather expect to see an overview of the model, for example, for the
>>>> scruffy and precise level, what terms and properties we have at each
>>>> level etc. I am sure Luc knows that the overview diagram needs update
>>>> and I couldn't read the figure properly even printed the doc with
>>>> high-resolution laser printer:)
>>>>
>>>> 3. I used the terminology of "terms" and "properties", but actually I
>>>> don't what this data model is. What do we mean by "data model"? Is it a
>>>> conceptual model, logical model, entity relationship model, or
>>>> something
>>>> else? It's not clearly stated and I am confused what terminologies I
>>>> should used when referring to the model:(
>>>>
>>>> 4. The Example section: Would it be a good idea to define an example up
>>>> in the front and use it throughout the whole document? I don't find a
>>>> description about an example in this section and I found it hard to
>>>> follow the 'examples' given in Section 3. And in the rest of the
>>>> document, examples from many different scenarios are used. I wonder
>>>> whether that prevents us from simplifying the reading of the spec.
>>>>
>>>> 5. Section 4, the PROM-DM Core: There are a lot of repetition with the
>>>> overview section. And I wonder what we mean by "core". The core almost
>>>> includes "all" the DM terms (apart from the few in section 5). My
>>>> understanding of "core" would be really the essential set of DM terms
>>>> that are must-haves to express the minimal provenance. IMO, the current
>>>> "core" is rather inclusive, and provides constructs that can be used to
>>>> support some rather complex provenance expressions.
>>>>
>>>> If we can agree on the notion of "scruffy" (minimal??) and "precise"
>>>> (extended??), maybe the core part can be used to correspond to the
>>>> "scruffy" part, and make it lighter, more succinct, and easier and
>>>> quicker to grasp and follow?
>>>>
>>>> 6. There are many cross-references that don't quite work in the current
>>>> working draft, like saying some terms are mentioned in the previous or
>>>> another section. I didn't include these problems here because I think
>>>> these were caused by the re-structuring. I could list them out once the
>>>> structure gets more stable.
>>>>
>>>> 7. There are also some technical points that I marked down in the
>>>> review, which I didn't raise here either, because I am 'new' to the
>>>> group and I don't want to re-open closed issues. What's the stage of
>>>> the
>>>> technical part of DM? Are there still open technical discussions?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> In my opinion I think the document still needs some more work on the
>>>> structuring and organization front to make it simplified.
>>>>
>>>> I think we should make a better use of the notion of "scruffy"
>>>> (minimal??) and "precise" (extended??), and use this to guide the
>>>> restructuring of the document.
>>>>
>>>> Thoughts?
>>>>
>>>> HTH,
>>>>
>>>> -- Jun
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>
>>
Received on Tuesday, 21 February 2012 21:15:58 GMT

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