From: Pat Hayes ([email protected])
Date: 12/31/69

>Adam -- I had uniqueProperty and unambiguousProperty
>confused.  But, for the example you gave "Person has SSN"
>it should be both.  That is, hasSSN is both a uniqueProperty
>and an unambiguousProperty, since it is one-to-one (at least
>in the idealized world). I think this makes the example more
>interesting, in fact. 
>The W3C Webont working group is looking for better names to
>use for these qualities of properties for its new language.
>What do people think of using names like oneToOneProperty,
>manyToOnePropoerty, oneToManyProperty, and manyToManyProperty.

Well, since you ask....

I think these names are lousy, just like the old names, and for a 
similar reason: they assume a perspective in which one is 
*describing* the properties rather than *using* them.  I know this is 
mathematically correct, but it isnt the way that people think 
intuitively (unless they have several years of postgraduate 
education, and often not even then.) Take for example 
manyToOneProperty, such as 'father'. We don't say this in English by 
talking *about* the property, we say it by *using* the property name: 
we say things like 'People have only one father, but a father can 
have any number of children.' Notice that 'father' here can be 
understood as referring to your typical guy. That might be a kind of 
abstract or archetypical Father, but that is a lot less weird than an 
abstract property of the Platonic property of Fatherhood.

I would prefer to see a syntax in which people can say things like 
'people have only one father' or 'fathers can have many children' 
rather than talk ABOUT properties at all.


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