[sc34wg3] Question on TNC / Montreal minutes

Steve Pepper sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Fri, 13 Sep 2002 18:30:50 +0200

At 11:32 13/09/02 -0400, you wrote:
>I don't understand the distinction you are making between 'namespace' 
>aspect of scope and the 'contextual validity' aspect of scope. Can you say 
>more about that distinction or how I would distinguish one from the other?

Geir Ove and I discuss this in our paper, "Towards a General Theory of Scope":


The basic problem is that sometimes you want to establish "contextual 
validity" without claiming that a name is unique within a certain 
namespace. Take the example of scoping by natural language:

   [table = "table" /english
          = "bord" /norwegian ]

All we want to do here is provide appropriate labels in English and 
Norwegian for those things with four legs. We don't want to claim that 
"table" is a name that can only refer to one subject in English (what about 
those things used to display data?), or that "bord" can only refer to one 
subject in Norwegian (it also means "plank").

Scope is overloaded because it has these two fundamental purposes.

>Along the same lines, are there any authoring practices or topic map 
>software that would support my making that distinction (after I understand 
>its nature)?

Nope. Not that I know of. That's where the notion of conventions, or 
"doctrines", for the application of scope might come in.

>I have an uneasy feeling that there is a distinction but can't formulate a 
>more meaningful statement other than "tell me more..."

Did this help?


Steve Pepper, Chief Executive Officer <pepper@ontopia.net>
Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34/WG3  Editor, XTM (XML Topic Maps)
Ontopia AS, Waldemar Thranes gt. 98, N-0175 Oslo, Norway.
http://www.ontopia.net/ phone: +47-23233080 GSM: +47-90827246