#168 state vs. trait

GREEN
closed
5
2010-04-08
2010-02-19
Anonymous
No

I notice that both <state> and <trait> can have datable attributes on them even though <trait> is meant for properties that are "in principle" unchanging. So at first it would seem that the datable attributes should not be allowed on <trait> unless we allow that certain traits may change but are still to be considered traits and not states. Is the intention?

Further confusion comes from the example given in the Guidelines for <trait>, involving citizenship that lasted for only a certain period. It seems to me that this example is more appropriate for the <state> element, unless this is an example of one of these traits not to be considered a state.

In short, a bit of clarification on the use of these elements would be good here.

Discussion

  • Kevin Hawkins

    Kevin Hawkins - 2010-02-19

    Dang, my login cookie must have expired. This bug was submitted by me.

     
  • Lou Burnard

    Lou Burnard - 2010-02-19

    That's OK Kevin, your style is instantly recognisable :-)

     
  • Lou Burnard

    Lou Burnard - 2010-04-07

    The difference between state and trait is discussed in the "Basic Principles" section of chapter ND (13.3.1), where we do try to show that the distinction is not always entirely clear cut. I think citizenship could qualify as a trait because it is externally defined and not conditioned by individual volition, but I can see why it might not be regarded as prototypical. I have therefore removed it from the example list for the moment. Do you have suggestions for how the discussion in "Basic Principles" could be improved? In general, we need more examples in this section: suggestions welcomed.

     
  • Lou Burnard

    Lou Burnard - 2010-04-07
    • milestone: --> GREEN
    • status: open --> closed
     
  • Kevin Hawkins

    Kevin Hawkins - 2010-04-08

    Testing that I can reopen a closed ticket by adding a comment. Will return later to give suggestions for how the "Basic Principles" could be improved.

     
  • James Cummings

    James Cummings - 2010-04-08

    opening

     
  • James Cummings

    James Cummings - 2010-04-08
    • status: closed --> open
     
  • Lou Burnard

    Lou Burnard - 2010-04-08
    • status: open --> closed
     
  • Janet McKnight

    Janet McKnight - 2010-04-08

    Test comment

     
  • Lou Burnard

    Lou Burnard - 2010-04-08
    • assigned_to: nobody --> kshawkin
     
  • Kevin Hawkins

    Kevin Hawkins - 2010-04-09

    Upon reading the "General Principles" more closely, I understand that most every trait could in fact change at some point. The explanation is actually quite clear, and I don't have a suggestion for how to improve it.

    A general problem with the Guidelines is that many examples are exceptional but without an explicit note telling you such. You're left to puzzle over the intricacies and are left looking for a clear-cut example. So it was probably good to remove the citizenship example.

     

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