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   Re: The Power of Groves

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  • From: THOMAS PASSIN <tpassin@idsonline.com>
  • To: <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 21:53:34 -0500

When I read most of the posts on groves and go to the links, I end up with
little enlightenment - the level of abstraction is so high it's hard to get
started - Didier's posts help some.  But you know, data and document design
can be expressed at many levels of detail and complexity, just like
software.  Furthermore, good engineering practice is usually to show not
more than two levels at once.

I think we need to find a way to express these ideas starting at a high
level without much complexity, and moving on to more and more detail.  For
example, Henry's grove drawing that Peter posted the link to is awfully
complex unless you are already familiar with the material (I'm not).

Most all the posters seem to agree that the existing specification for
groves, etc., is so complex that very few people actually digest it.  This
underlines what I said above.  For example, are groves really more than
hierarchical lists or sets of properties whose membership is somewhat
restricted by the property set and grove plan?  Can the same things be
expressed better, or at all, by Sowa's Conceptual Graphs, or by KIF? And if
so, can KIF be expressed in XML (something I have thought is possible, but
haven't looked into in detail)?  Do groves express something that can't be
expressed with boxes and arcs plus some constraining notes?

If we can't get simplicity into the presentation, any advantages of using
groves will go by the wayside.  And a layered approach is probably the only
way to achieve some simplicity without simplifying away the important stuff.

So I'm preaching but don't know enough to actually do anything along these
lines -  better stop now.

Tom Passin

W. Eliot Kimber wrote:

> > Groves.  Let's keep going in this thread and see if it
> > is the jewel.
> Good. Let me stress that when I use the term "groves", I usually mean
> "some technical solution that satisfies the requirements we tried to
> satisfy with groves as defined in 10744". I have no long-term investment
> in groves *as defined in 10744*. I would be perfectly happy if the W3C
> developed from scratch some new way of doing what we did with groves. My
> concern is with satisfying requirements, not perpetuating a particular
> solution.
> Cheers,
> E.


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