[Modeling] Class Diagram Specification

James Odell email@jamesodell.com
Fri, 13 Jun 2003 10:44:36 -0400

OK, point taken. So far, the tally is as follows:

--Caste - 1 vote
--Agent Class or Agent Type - 3 votes
--"The term agent class is 'misfortune'" - 1 vote

Anyone else want to vote?


On 6/13/03 9:56 AM, "Dr. Hong Zhu" indited:

> Jim,
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "James Odell" <email@jamesodell.com>
> To: "Dr. Hong Zhu" <hzhu@brookes.ac.uk>
> Sent: Friday, June 13, 2003 1:42 PM
> Subject: Re: [Modeling] Class Diagram Specification
>> Hong,
>> First, the OED II definition of "class" reads as follows: "A number of
>> individuals (persons or things) possessing common attributes, and grouped
>> together under a general or 'class' name; a kind, sort, division. (Now the
>> leading sense.)"  How is this "by no means better than caste"?  And why do
>> you assert that this definition has "nothing to do with the meaning in
>> programming and computing"?  To me, it seems to have a great deal to do
> with
>> the meaning in programming and computing.
> The dictionary that I have used is Longman Disctionary of Comtemporary
> English. It defines class as follows: (it is the whole list and in its
> original order as in the dictionary).
> 1, a social group whose members have the same political, social, and
> economical position and rank.
> 2. the system of dividing society into groups with different social and
> political positions.
> 3. a group of pupils or students who are taught together.
> 4. a period of time during which pupils or students are taght.
> 5. a division of people or things according to their quality, level of
> performance, etc.
> 6. a division of animals or plants below a phylum and above an order
> 7. a stylish quality, e.g. in clothes or social behaviour, that attracts
> admiration.
> I don't think any of the above meanings given in the dictionary is what we
> used exactly as in OO paradigm. Nothing mentioned that objects are instances
> of classes. Nothing is mentioned about inheritance relationship, etc. These
> are also not mentioned in Oxford English Dictionary (Edition II) (is that
> OED II?). I think it is appropriate to adapt words like this to give them
> technical meanings in a technical domain, such as class in computing. What I
> am saying is that the original meaning of the word 'caste' can also be
> adapted, changed, and assigned with specific technical semantics in a
> particular domain.
>> Second, why do you require that we choose "other alternatives apart from
>> agent class and agent type," when several people on this mailing list have
>> already said that they prefer these terms?  As for me, agent class and
> agent
>> type work for me.
> There is also a person in this mailing list expressed that the term agent
> class is "misfortune". You also asked that "Second, will that extension be
> call AgentClass or something else?" I appreciate that you asked this
> question, and I think it is important for more people to give their opinions
> on this. I just expressed my opinion and asking for if there is any other
> opinions or alternatives if you are unhappy with the word caste. It is fine
> if you think the phrase 'agent class' is OK.
> Hong
>> -Jim
>> On 6/13/03 5:07 AM, "Dr. Hong Zhu" indited:
>>> Dear, Jim, and Gerd, and All,
>>> I don't think that the existing meaning of a term should prevent us to
> adapt
>>> it to a technology terminology. Look at the word class as defined in a
>>> dictionary. It is by no means better than caste. The meaning of the word
>>> class in dictionary has nothing to do with the meaning in programming
> and
>>> computing. Even the word agent is not in its dictionary meaning.
>>> Having said so, the word caste does have some indications to the very
>>> important features of agents, such as something to do with active
> entities,
>>> society of agents, groups of agent with same roles and behaviour, etc.
>>> Finally, may I ask if you have any suggestions of other alternatives a
> part
>>> from agent class and agent type?
>>> Best regards,
>>> Hong