(RQT) character/state/comment

Gregor Hagedorn G.Hagedorn at BBA.DE
Tue Dec 21 17:09:56 CET 1999

> Actually, what I'd like to see as a requirement is more modest than this.
> I simply propose that there should be the possibility of explicitly
> recording a property name, which need not have any global significance.
> The property could be expressed in many ways, but for the sake of an
> example I suggest that we might possibly have a DELTA character that
> looked like this:
>   #2. body <@property degree of convexity>/
>        1. strongly flattened/
>        2. slightly flattened to moderately convex/
>        3. strongly convex/

I absolutely agree that this should be done. Using properties as a
classification of characters only, it somewhat comes near to the
original intend for properties as published in Diederich: Getting a
grip on character definitions that run into 100s of characters. I
believe that properties can be best recorded on two levels:

1. A global property classification (I believe this should follow the
physical units (1D/2D/3D shape and measurement, time point and
duration, temperature, etc.) + human senses, to distinguish taste,
smell, etc., + things for pattern/arrangement. I believe centering it
on the human observer will make it domain independent.

2. On a second level detailed Properties could be introduced that
could, but not necessarily must be domain specific, like WingShape
(2D Shape), LeafShape (2D Shape), FungalSporeShape (3D Shape).

These should be extensible in the model.

Clearly there would have been an advantage to the global model. Each
state for a property would truly only exist once. If a character set
is to be translated, the color states would have to be translated
only once, and not separately for each structure the color of which
is described. From the responses so far, however, I think we all do
not really believe this could work out.

I believe there is an intermediate way, and that is providing
templates for properties togehter with states. The more templates
that could be offered, the easier the setup of a character definition
would be. But the templates would be copied, not linked, so that e.g.
too many color states could be copied from the template, and then
reduced or changed as needed.

Gregor Hagedorn                 G.Hagedorn at bba.de
Institute for Plant Virology, Microbiology, and Biosafety
Federal Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry (BBA)
Koenigin-Luise-Str. 19          Tel: +49-30-8304-2220
14195 Berlin, Germany           Fax: +49-30-8304-2203

Often wrong but never in doubt!

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