Re: The naive test for equality

From: mAsterdam <>
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 19:13:20 +0200
Message-ID: <42fb871e$0$11072$>

VC wrote:
> mAsterdam wrote:

>>VC wrote:
>>>mAsterdam wrote:
>>>>VC wrote:
>>>>>mAsterdam wrote:
>>>>>>vc wrote:
>>>>>>>David  Cressey wrote:
>>>>>>>>...The two words,  "synonym" and "homonym"  are borrowed from
>>>>>>>>the argot of natural linguistics,  but the two problems arise
>>>>>>>>whenever data is represented.
>>>>>>>In modelling, "synonym/homonym problems" are problems only when they
>>>>>>>are self-induced.
>>>>>>What do you mean by that? I've done quite some practical modelling
>>>>>>with teams. I never experienced the problem not coming up.
>>>>>For example ?
>>>>What do you mean by "self-induced"?
>>>Self-inflicted (synonym)
>>The "Self" being the modeller, right?
>>When modelling is done by teams there are more selves.
>>Any two people even when working together closely for
>>years have  different associations and connotations
>>with some words some time.

> Presumably the team has meetings at which they discuss the
> stuff they interested in and come to some agreement as to what
> terminology they want to use and what the terms are
> supposed to mean.

Let me get this straight. In your methodology the terminology is ready (agreed upon) before the modelling starts?

> It's, like, introduction to modelling 101.

What is 101?

> Besides, you describe a hypothetical terminology
> selection/definition process yourself, so it's not clear what the problem
> might be unless the "team" neglects to identify, say, data objects and
> relationships [self-infilcts potential pain because of not doing required
> work].

How do you propose to identify data objects and relationships from a requirement "It should be possible to find out where a piece
of information came from."?

>>Another, less cryptic example:
>>Say a team tries to meet the requirement that it should
>>be possible to find out where a piece of information came from.
>>One thinks 'origin', another one thinks 'source'. (1)
>>Let's say they talk about it and decide on 'source'.
>>One thinks 'the source code of a program' because
>>yesterday he spent some time finding a source-file,
>>another one thinks 'the external agent providing the
>>piece of information' because he just finished
>>a business process analysis session. (2)

> You are kidding, right ?


> If the modellers chose the name/label "source" and
> did not define what entity the name refers to,
> then the name is just meaningless, like say "fshsalkfd".
> Apparently, your hypothetical modellers
> are not modellers but some kind of impostors.

Please take the drivers' seat. Show us the real thing. Pretend you are modelling the data to meet the requirement. Feel free to ask relevant questions/check assumptions about it.

>>Both the synonym-problem (1) and the homonym-problem (2) may
>>very well be recognized and resolved, of course.
>>Or not. Or to late.

> As I wrote before, data modelling is not a work of
> [literary] fiction where one needs to bother with stuff like
> synonyms, homonyms, metaphors, metonymy and what not.

If you don't bother with that "stuff" your work will be exactly that: a work of fiction.

> Just identify the entities, invent (or use commonly
> accepted ) names for them and you'll be a happy
> camper without any need to hide behind high-faluting
> nonsense like "synonym problem", "conceptual
> object type" or some such.

  • I am not hiding at all.
  • Please refrain from attributing terms to me I did not use.
Received on Thu Aug 11 2005 - 19:13:20 CEST

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