[sc34wg3] Question on TNC / Montreal minutes

Patrick Durusau sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Fri, 13 Sep 2002 15:57:57 -0400


Steve Pepper wrote:

> 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":
>    http://www.ontopia.net/topicmaps/materials/scope.htm

Thanks! Grabbed a copy.

> 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").

Hmmm, if I understand the example, you want to place "table" and "bord" 
in different language scopes for something called "table"? So, "table" 
(first occurrence in your example) is not claimed to be unique within 
some larger, possibly unspecified namespace? In a sense a "mini-scope" 
around the term table that limits the application of the language scopes 
to that term?

If I am reading the example correctly, I am still missing the....Ah, are 
you saying that the '"table /english' must apply only within the scope 
(sorry no other word comes to mind) of language specific naming of the 
term table and not to the term table in the larger topic map? Such that 
at present, we have confusion between the operation of scope on '"table" 
/english' and a scope applied to the term table? Interesting. Is that a 
problem of syntax or understanding of the operation of scope? (Or both?)

> 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?

Thanks! I think it did. Will read the paper over the weekend and 
hopefully find the time to post some thoughts later this weekend.

Hope you are looking forward to a great weekend!


> Steve
> -- 
> 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
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Patrick Durusau
Director of Research and Development
Society of Biblical Literature