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Re: vocabulary simplification: two proposals to vote on [deadline, Oct 26 midnight, GMT]

From: Luc Moreau <L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 16:27:31 +0100
Message-ID: <EMEW3|1be9425811326ef031cceded9617ff59n9PGRY08L.Moreau|ecs.soton.ac.uk|4EA826E3.6060902@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
To: Jim McCusker <mccusj@rpi.edu>
CC: Paolo Ncl <paolo.missier@newcastle.ac.uk>, Provenance Working Group WG <public-prov-wg@w3.org>

Hi Jim,

That's what my OED says:

A condition in which things are happening or being done.

Is there a notion of agency when we say "things are happening"?


On 10/26/2011 03:56 PM, Jim McCusker wrote:
> Then not Event. But I think a key goal of our work is to find terms
> that align best with the intended usage. This makes it much easier for
> people who are coming to the model for the first time. It's perfect
> that we've started with concepts, but these concepts are being
> grounded in terminology, and that should align with the chosen,
> default language.
> If someone can give me a counterexample where an act or activity
> doesn't have an implied actor, I'll withdraw my negative vote.
> Jim
> On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 10:40 AM, Paolo Ncl
> <paolo.missier@newcastle.ac.uk>  wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I think we are in fact reading a bit too much into this. The intent was to simplify and harmonize the key terms used in the model.  an agent may play a part in the activity, and we do have a way to express that, but that doesn't have to be (does that mean we cater to eastern cultures as well? :-) )
>> But I strongly advise against using the term "event" to refer to activities that have a time duration. Events already have a clear role to play in the model, and have no duration.
>> Thanks, Paolo
>> Sent from my iPad
>> On 26 Oct 2011, at 15:05, Jim McCusker<mccusj@rpi.edu>  wrote:
>>> On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 7:33 AM, Luc Moreau<L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>  wrote:
>>>> JimMcC indicated that activity implied a notion of agency. I am not familiar
>>>> with this
>>>> interpretation. Where does it come from? He suggests 'event', but this term
>>>> is already in
>>>> the document (and will be the subject of a future clarification proposal).
>>> Activity (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/activity) is
>>> defined as a quality or state of being active. If you look at the
>>> examples at MW, all of them have some sort of agent or actor. There is
>>> one natural process example, which is that a volcano is active. Even
>>> in that case, the volcano is being considered an actor (which is fine
>>> in discourse, but isn't technically correct). The root word, "act",
>>> when used, requires an actor. An act can happen with an unknown actor,
>>> but there is always an entity that is behind an act.
>>> Using this word to describe all events (including natural events),
>>> especially formally in a standard, gives the model a pre-scientific
>>> bais (the idea that a prime mover is needed, because all events are
>>> acts). Note that this is actually a western bais too, as many eastern
>>> traditions do not require a prime mover.
>>> Maybe I'm reading far too much into this, but if we're looking to
>>> simplify, I would far prefer Event or Process (but with a clear
>>> explanation that it is a occurrent, not a specification of an
>>> occurrent) to Activity.
>>> Jim
>>> --
>>> Jim McCusker
>>> Programmer Analyst
>>> Krauthammer Lab, Pathology Informatics
>>> Yale School of Medicine
>>> james.mccusker@yale.edu | (203) 785-6330
>>> http://krauthammerlab.med.yale.edu
>>> PhD Student
>>> Tetherless World Constellation
>>> Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
>>> mccusj@cs.rpi.edu
>>> http://tw.rpi.edu

Professor Luc Moreau
Electronics and Computer Science   tel:   +44 23 8059 4487
University of Southampton          fax:   +44 23 8059 2865
Southampton SO17 1BJ               email: l.moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk
United Kingdom                     http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~lavm
Received on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 15:28:26 UTC

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