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The Residual World::Tag = 'Language'

Entries that have been tagged with 'Language'.-

‘Logical’, ‘Abstract’ or ‘Concept’ Instead of ‘Operational’?

by Nic Plum on Monday 19 April, 2010 - 15:46 GMT

Posted in Architecture FrameworkMODAFTRAK

Tags: conceptdefinitionlanguageontologyoperationalperspectivetrak

Abstract - from the New Oxford American DictionaryThe language used in a framework definition is important to its “user interface”. Get it wrong and you build in problems for the long term. It is, however, difficult to get the ‘right’ name - one that is readily understood and where everyone has the same understanding.

In TRAK we have an ‘Operational Perspective’ - that provides the elements and viewpoints with which to describe the problem in terms of need, exchanges and behaviour in a way which is free from implementation or any particular solution or technology. The trouble is that the word ‘operational’ is all too readily associated with the day to day running or operation of the system. This has caused confusion in the rail domain. Of course any confusion can lead to the use of the wrong architectural views or for an unnecessary restriction in scope - all of which can lead to inconsistency and which make it harder to exchange or collaborate on architecture models.

Back to the problem in hand. If we don’t use ‘Operational’ what could we use instead? ‘Logical’ is a possibility. It is used in other frameworks, such as Zachman, where it is a perspective that represents the logical information systems model which is free from the technology (another perspective). It looks as though MODAF would like to use ‘logical’ since the pre-amble to the MoD’s ‘The MODAF Operational (OV) Viewpoint’ states ‘the OV Views illustrate the Logical Architecture of the enterprise; ie whilst they show what is required to conduct an (operational or business) activity, they do not consider how a solution may manifest itself when implemented.’  The trouble is, would the average user equate ‘logical’ with implementation-free or would they associate mathematics, rules or some alternative “Spockian” image with the term?

‘Abstract’ is another candidate. Looking in the New Oxford American Dictionary, produced by the Oxford University Press (OUP),  that comes with the Apple Dictionary application we have:

ab•stract
adjective |ˈabstrakt|existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence : abstract concepts such as love or beauty.

  • dealing with ideas rather than events : the novel was too abstract and esoteric to sustain much attention.
  • not based on a particular instance; theoretical : we have been discussing the problem in a very abstract manner.
  • (of a word, esp. a noun) denoting an idea, quality, or state rather than a concrete object : abstract words like truth or equality.
  • of or relating to abstract art : abstract pictures that look like commercial color charts.


This looks to be promising. It is quite clearly nothing to do with a particular solution or realisation. Is ‘Abstract Perspective’ only a term that an air-head would use? It certainly seems to be better than keeping the current ‘operational’.

Or would it be better just to use ‘Concept’....?

Not easy. The request to change the name has been made on SourceForge and it will be interesting to see what comments or reaction develops.

Whatever the outcome there will have to be some changes on the site wiki…. :-(

 

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