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Re: [xml-dev] RE: Keep business-process-specific data separate?

Since 0.02 is being thrown around ... I'll give it a stab ...

Wouldn't an abstract description be a definition that permits you to 
perform *deduction* in order to derive further "solutions"?  In 
contrast, a generic description is simply a way to describe a certain 
class of items without an inherent mechanism to logically introduce new 
elements into that class? (ie. no deduction can be formed based on the 
generic description)


On 2/2/2009 3:43 PM, Peter Hunsberger wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 2:07 PM, Cox, Bruce <Bruce.Cox@uspto.gov> wrote:
>> Another try, after reading some entries in the OED
>> Generic: General as opposed to specific; aspirin as opposed to Bayer;
>> Abstract: Abstract as opposed to concrete; (a*a) + (b*b) = (c*c) "a squared
>> plus b squared equals c squared" as opposed to 3*3 + 4*4 = 5*5
>> An abstraction might or might not be discovered by inspection of some
>> instances, but an abstraction has an internal truth that is completely
>> independent of whether it is ever instantiated.  However, aspirin is a name
>> for a collection of instances (with a common property) that has no existence
>> without those instances.
> Sounds like a nice distinction on the surface, but just to continue to
> play devils advocate for the moment; can you give me an example of an
> abstraction that would make sense without some concrete instance
> existing for reference purposes? I'm pretty skeptical that any such
> pure, "unattached" abstraction -- which would be the ultimate
> extension of your proposition -- is possible....

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