Re: RE: Abstraction in Science, Mathematics, Software,and Mark
Hi Roger-- On Mar 11, 2011, at 3:55 PM, Costello, Roger L. wrote: > Hi Folks, > > Is there a difference between abstraction and reuse? > > Suppose I observe that all appliances have a model number, a description, and a warranty. You've just created an abstraction of appliances, since real appliances are obviously much more complex than just a triple of properties (even if you restrict yourself to properties, appliances could be characterized by a much richer collection than this). > Subsequently I create this complexType: > > <xsd:complexType name="appliance"> > <xsd:sequence> > <xsd:element name="model-number" type="xsd:ID"/> > <xsd:element name="description" type="xsd:string"/> > <xsd:element name="warranty" type="xsd:string"/> > </xsd:sequence> > </xsd:complexType> > > Is that complexType an abstraction? > > It is clearly a reusable thing. But I am not convinced that it is an abstraction because it is hardcoded to specific element names. What do you think? Of course it's an abstraction. Almost by definition, any *type* is an abstraction, if only of its instances. It may not be as abstract as some other descriptions you could think of, but it's still an abstraction. Being an abstraction isn't necessarily a binary characteristic, i.e. something is or isn't one. Things can be more or less abstract, but still abstractions. > > Do you think that we (the XML community) have powerful mechanisms for creating abstractions? If not, what is missing? If yes, please provide an example of a powerful abstraction that you have created or you have seen created. What makes it powerful? > > /Roger >
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