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Re: simon:entity (or Identifiable)

From: Luc Moreau <l.moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 12:55:51 +0100
Message-ID: <EMEW3|9444c9c24499f6a52a3d595b35f5a1b5n6ECmL08l.moreau|ecs.soton.ac.uk|4E202AC7.9080306@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
To: public-prov-wg@w3.org
Hi Ryan,

It's exactly where we were about 8 weeks ago. Your proposal seems to ignore
many agreements this WG has reached. We were using the word "R" then.

The reason why we moved into the direction of thing and IVP is that
there is stuff out there that is changing. For provenance, we need
something that didn't change from some perspective (or had some fixed

For your proposal to work from my viewpoint, it needs to be more precise
about what is identifiable. Is it a stuff or is it a state of a stuff?

I note that all our discussions point to the fact that it is really
hard to distinguish a stuff from its state, since it is very much a
question of perspective.  Still, we need to be precise about what is
identifiable. I think that the notion of properties associated with
old:thing/f2f1:BOB is reasonable way of providing the necessary precision.



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 Friday, 15 July 2011 11:48:44 UTC

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