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Re: "Document", "Resource", "Representation", recommended reading

From: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2009 01:07:00 -0400
Message-ID: <29af5e2d0908032207j40987ebfv36324fa5214e2fdc@mail.gmail.com>
To: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Cc: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, "julian.reschke@gmx.de" <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, "www-tag@w3.org WG" <www-tag@w3.org>, HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
So I've purchased the book and started working through it a bit, and
something comes to mind. In the second chapter (where I've ended for
the moment) we have an offer for the definition of "document"

"Documents are exactly those things we create to speak for us, on our
behalf and in our absence."

Now one of the things I do when I'm working developing ontologies, as
a kind of wedge to make sure we aren't fooling ourselves into thinking
we're done, is ask the question of some definition - what are things
that are not this? And if we find this is difficult to do, we know
there is a problem. So I would ask that you also consider that
question.

It seems that with this definition we have now possibly subsumed all
of artistic  endeavor under the name "document".  And if that's the
case I don't think that's great progress. For one thing it does
disservice to a whole lot of other words we've developed "dance"
"song" "sculpture" "fiction" - all of these are "documents" now.
Secondly it dilutes the meaning of "document" so much that there is
little that we know about something if all we know is that it is a
"document".

Maybe some of this is modified in the rest of the book - I'll keep on reading.

-Alan

On Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 9:30 PM, Alan Ruttenberg<alanruttenberg@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 3:16 PM, Larry Masinter<masinter@adobe.com> wrote:
>> With regard to the word "Document", I'd like to
>> recommend as background reading:
>>
>
> I'll have a look, but pending that, could you share some of what you
> think the essential points are?
>
> Thanks,
> Alan
>
>>
>> http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1559706481
>> Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age
>> by David Levy
>>
>> since the much of thought behind it informs a lot of my own
>> thinking about the nature of "Document", "representation",
>> "Resource" and the like.
>>
>> Larry
>> --
>> http://larry.masinter.net
>>
>>
>>
>
Received on Tuesday, 4 August 2009 05:08:06 GMT

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