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Re: simon:entity (or Identifiable)

From: Reza B'Far <reza.bfar@oracle.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2011 22:40:25 -0700
Message-ID: <4E1FD2C9.8060301@oracle.com>
To: public-prov-wg@w3.org

On 7/14/11 10:36 PM, 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 Friday, 15 July 2011 05:41:12 UTC

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