[sc34wg3] Subordinate clauses

Dmitry db3000 at mac.com
Sat Feb 2 15:42:43 EST 2008

On 30-Jan-08, at 12:29 AM, Xuân Baldauf wrote:

> In my work for creating CTM documents as a means to collect  
> information in an ad-hoc manner, I almost always want to write down  
> the source of the information I got. I do it like this:
> john
>   - "John Lennon"
>   works_for({the_beatles
>     - "The Beatles"
>     isa music_group
>   })
>   died_in(new_york) ~{? source_resource("http://news.bbc.co.uk/ 
> onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/8/newsid_2536000/2536321.stm") }
> Verbally, this means:
> John Lennon, who worked for the music group "The Beatles", died in  
> New York, according to the resource "http://news.bbc.co.uk/ 
> onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/8/newsid_2536000/2536321.stm".
> Now try to convert this to one of the recent CTM notations:
> john
>   - "John Lennon"
>   works_for(the_beatles)
>   died_in(new_york) ~random_topic_654166
> the_beatles
>   - "The Beatles"
>   isa music_group
> random_topic_654166
>   source_resource("http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/ 
> december/8/newsid_2536000/2536321.stm")
> I think the latter notation (be it pre- or post-Kyoto) has certain  
> disadvantages:
> It takes 11 lines instead of 7 lines while providing not more  
> information.
> It is harder (and takes longer) to read in human language (at least  
> in my languages). In this sequence, it would read like “John Lennon  
> worked for The Beatles and died in New York. The Beatles is a music  
> group. That John Lennon died in New York, this is according to the  
> resource "http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/ 
> 8/newsid_2536000/2536321.stm". ”
> It forces the author to invent an ad-hoc random, but unique, topic  
> identifier, while the topic identifier is of no meaning or purpose  
> for the author. Being forced to generate a unique topic identifier  
> is quite a hard task. It takes longer then devising a password. Try  
> to devise a password nobody would be able to guess, and then ensure  
> that it is different from all the other passwords you have.
> Information belonging semantically closely together is spread out.  
> This makes the document less readable, less changeable and harder  
> to understand its meaning. This effect is even worse when having  
> multiple sources of information for one topic.
> This is why I would like to have subordinate clauses in CTM. For  
> me, having subordinate clauses or not in CTM makes a difference  
> like having closures in a programming language or not. However, I  
> do not care about the exact syntax.
> I see that others have the same idea:
> Robert Barta wrote:
>> [...]
>>> N3 is a good example of how nesting can help to define complex
>>> structures in a compact form without additional mechanism for
>>> templates.
>> I agree, and that is also where AsTMa= is going. Effectively,
>> everywhere where a topic id is allowed, a fully-fledged topic
>> definition can be.
> Dmitry wrote:
>> [...]
>> I would prefer it this way:
>> paul
>>      ~ o:Paul_McCartney;
>>      # <http://....#Paul_McCartney>;
>>      - "Paul McCartney";
>>      first_name - "Paul";
>>      last_name - "McCartney";
>>      isa person, musician;
>>      o:works-for    [o:The-Beatles - "The Beatles], o:The-Wings;
>>      o:homepage  <http://www...>
> Note the “[o:The-Beatles - "The Beatles]” (which, by the way, has  
> an unmatched double-quote, it should read as “[o:The-Beatles - "The  
> Beatles"]” I suppose). Apparently, the “[o:The-Beatles - "The  
> Beatles"]” is a subordinate clause, that is, a reference to a topic  
> while explaining a little bit about that topic.
> Do you think that having subordinate clauses in CTM is a good thing?

I would vote for nested descriptions (subordinate clauses) with  
ability to auto generate item identifiers.

Example 1:

[tc:role_type o:Employee;  tc:card_min 1;  tc:card_max 1]

should create a new topic  with auto generated item identifier

Example 2:

    o:died_in o:NewYork ~# [o:source <http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/ 

"~#"  is a an operator for a second type of reification, which  
provides  access to a topic which describes statement, not relationship.

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