[sc34wg3] Scope, again

Sam Hunting sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Fri, 29 Nov 2002 09:26:56 -0500 (EST)


[marc d.] 
> On a sidenote, ISO 13250:1999 says: "NOTE 40: The topic referenced via the
> type attribute can have many names in scopes designed for many different user
> contexts, including many different natural languages ..." See also Notes 42,
> 46 and 51.
> XTM says (http://www.topicmaps.org/xtm/1.0/#elt-baseName): "Natural language
> discrimination between base names may be specified by a child <scope>
> element."
> This seems to suggest scope is the way to handle natural language.

Not *the* way. One way. ("*may* [emphasis mine] be specified)


> | > So scope to me is just a way to make a specific kind of assertion: an
> | > assertion which limits the validity of another assertion.
> |
> | This is not how I would phrase it. I would suggest that "scope identifies
> | those domains in which the assertion is known to be valid: if no scope is
> | stated then the assertion is valid in any domain". Note the subtle
> | difference due to the fact that something can be known to be valid in one
> | domain, and yet be valid in another domain without the topic map author
> | being aware of that fact.

There are some equivalences being made in the language of this thread that
I am not entirely.

1. validity = truth value. But I don't see topic map assertions as having,
intrinsically, any truth value whatever. (If they were to, we would have
to have some mechanism for specifying the logical system in which the
truth value obtained. We do not; ergo, no truth value.)

2. validity = extent of validity. I regard the words "extent of
validity" as being carefully chosen. I see "extent" as being a (n
FCS-like) perimeter that defines an area where it is sensible to ask the
question, "Is the assertion valid?" Therefore, I regard language like
"the assertion is known to be valid" as too strong. Absent (see point
1) some sort of system that tells me what "known" to be "valid" means,
that is probably all the one can do. "Valid" might mean "useful to my
application (or not)" for example.

Sam Hunting
eTopicality, Inc.

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