Term "Configuration"

Brian T Rice water@tunes.org
Tue May 6 02:59:02 2003

On Mon, 5 May 2003, Armin Rigo wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 29, 2003 at 05:53:17PM -0700, Brian T Rice wrote:
> > >From wordnet, I get the synonyms "constellation" and "structure", both of
> > which aren't properly suggestive.
> I like the term "constellation". I think it is clearer than "configuration".
> Avoiding the use of terms with a strong existing meaning (however biased it
> may be) always seem like a good idea to me.

This "good idea" is involved with any term we choose, and I'd rather pick
something that generalizes a concept that even the common user knows than
to talk of "constellations". We already have our own special vocabulary
for words like "attribute" and "object" which are heavily weighed by
tradition and hype already, and I think there's a good effect in forcibly
re-negociating the terms into what they ought to be.

But basically, I don't see how "constellation" is any more clear for any
reason other than pure figurativeness, and even then it's just poetic.
It's not that I dislike the poetic, or don't see its value here, but it
suggests location and perspective when we're talking about stellar
constellations, which just seems to be invoking too many metaphors at
once. I'd rather generalize one idea that people know than draw in a
couple of metaphors that people never think about.

Brian T. Rice
LOGOS Research and Development