[sc34wg3] SAM 3.4.4 Reification and 3.4.5 Properties

Luis J. Martinez sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
16 Apr 2003 12:35:34 -0400


> | There was a long discussion on this point last month, but I don't
> | think there was a resolution.

> Hmmmm. Which discussion do you mean?

The thread title is "What do we mean by reification?".

> | Also, I see the utility on an item like an Association having a
> | property of [reifier] to find out more information about it through
> | the topic. But, I don't see the utility of a topic having a property
> | of [reified]. That is what the topic does. It reifies subjects. Why
> | the distinction between reifying a topic map item or an external
> | information item? 

> Because only the first is reification as that word is generally used.
> The second case is just ordinary representation.

reification means:
  "to regard (something abstract) as a material or concrete thing"

I think you are using the word reification as a computing facility to
make a Topic Map item, like an Association, be view as a Topic subject
under the SAM framework. A modeling construct. Well, it just happens
that what you are modeling, Topic Maps, does that exact thing. Topics
are a facility to make information objects expressed as subjects under
the Topic Maps framework.

I think what is confusing is that for the past few years we have been
talking about reifying subjects with topics. Now, we want to stop
using that word because the SAM needs to reify things as a modeling
function. I think I understand this, but there is some kind of
self-referencing thing going on that is making my head spin.