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Question about philosophy

From: Nick Ruffilo <nickruffilo@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2015 15:01:18 -0400
Message-ID: <CA+Dds59mzcCFR1vgXQpDo34P2CiOivLHeXafZL0qoqvc5=9kjA@mail.gmail.com>
To: "DPUB mailing list (public-digipub-ig@w3.org)" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>

My apologies for a long-winded, difficult question, but I think it's
important (at least to me, in understanding things).  This came up during
our meeting today and I was requested to put it in an e-mail so that we
could discuss.

My question ultimately boils down to - what is the philosophy of the DPUB
group in defining document standards?  Is it to take the existing
mechanisms and lexicons and build a format that fits that mold, or to
utilizing existing knowledge and build an ideal document structure that
provides a mechanism for all existing concepts.

*Expanding the explanation/question*

My apologies if I use any terminology in an incorrect way, my goal is *NOT* to
try to define/redefine terms, I'm simply noting them in hopes to make an

One of the terms noted today was ABSTRACT.  It is a word that
Dictionary.com has over 16 definitions for, some of them oddly
contradictory.  Within publishing, it also carries different meanings based
on context (law, fiction, non-fiction, etc).

There are many solutions to this problem, but, using the two cases I noted
above, the direction of solutions would be different:

*Fitting the existing mold:*
If we were to fit the existing mold, a solution may be to use prefixes.
 "law-abstract" "fiction-abstract" "aria-abstract" etc.

*Creating a generic ideal:*
Going with the other extreme, DPUB would drop all uses of abstract and
would boil each abstract into it's "raw" form.  For example, some ABSTRACTs
may be SUMMARIES.  Some may be "PURPOSE_STATEMENTS"  Honestly, I don't know
enough about the different definitions of abstract to even begin proposing

*Building the Tree of Terminology and future-proofing*
What my question ultimately stems from is - how are we approaching
solutions.  you can build a tree from the roots, or you can build it from
its farthest branch.  Both take very different paths.

The way I think about a document/package is a tree with many webs within.
If you can understand why each branch is happening and what goes down each
branch and are clear and consistent in your word choice (of which I do
realize is terribly difficult in English) then you create an amazingly rich
and expressive way of defining terms so that their value is maximized to
both the human and computer which will ultimately read this document.  Like
in real life, if you have tree branches that overlap, your tree is
inefficient.  It will most certainly not die, but, if you create the most
efficient tree possible, it will not only save you time, but you will also
resolve competing branch issues.

*Huh? I still don't get what you're asking*
If i wasn't clear enough, please let me know.  While i have my opinions,
I'm more interested in what the philosophy has been up to now and what it
hopes to be going forward so that I can do my best to align my thinking
with what is best for the group.

- Nick Ruffilo
http://ZenOfTechnology.com <http://zenoftechnology.com/>
Received on Monday, 13 April 2015 19:01:45 UTC

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