User:Kipcool/all about DefinedMeanings
My actual vision of definedMeaning ;-)
Here, I'm trying to write what I've understood, tell me what is wrong or need to be clarified (on the discussion page).
What is a DefinedMeaning
A definedMeaning is a definition. If a word has multiple definitions, then, it will be attached to multiple defined meanings. For example, the word paper has 5 meanings and therefore will be the spelling attached to 5 definedMeanings. Here, in fact, the concept of "word" is not very clear, so it's better to divide it into a spelling and a meaning, so we know what we are talking about.
Now, to the difference of paper dictionary, DefinedMeaning is the central point of OmegaWiki, whereas spelling is the central point of a paper dictionary. As we are more used to browse using spellings, it will still be the way we browse OmegaWiki, but inside (in the database), everything is organized around definedMeanings.
DefinedMeanings and Synonyms
Synonyms are just different spellings for the same meaning, so, basically, adding a new synonym is adding a new spelling to a definedMeaning. huge and enormous can both be defined with very large.
Also, color and colour are 2 different spellings for the same meaning. So, we link them to the same definedMeaning, adding a note specific to each spelling: color is USA, colour is UK.
DefinedMeanings and translations
Each definition (a sentence describing a definedMeaning) must be translated in every languages, and linked together as representing the same meaning. For example, very large <-> très grand.
Now, imagine we have very large = huge, and très grand = immense in the database, and the above relation: very large <-> très grand. We want to add the translation huge (en) <-> énorme (fr). This must be done by telling that énorme is a spelling of the definition très grand. This way, the following relations will be deduced:
- énorme is a synonym for immense
- énorme is a translation for huge and for the definedMeaning very large (or any spelling defined by this one)
It's also possible to attach a French spelling with an English definedMeaning (if the speaker does not speak French well enough to read definedMeanings in French, or if simply, the definedMeaning is not yet translated into French).
So, everything is just linking spellings and definedMeanings. Easy, isn't it?
So, why are DefinedMeanings useful, and why does it make WZ so great? Well, here are some examples.
I wanted the other day to translate mess into German. Here is what I got on LEO: . Mess has many meanings, so, not all words have the meaning I was looking for (I was looking for the disorder meaning). In LEO, as in most (all?) dictionaries, translations are associated to the word, but not to a definition. Therefore, everything is mixed, and the list of translations proposed is useful for me in that case.
A list of examples for all German words would be useful, and so would be the precision of which English meaning is translated with its definition. We'll have all that in WZ I hope.
Questions I've not solved
- how to browse definedMeanings? I want to add a word (spelling and definition), how do I know if a definedMeaning corresponding to that word is already in there (for example if a synonym already exists) or not?
- In order for a DefinedMeaning to be found, first it has to be defined in ANY language. It is likely that the more pervasive languages will be used to see if a DefinedMeaning exists...
- how to split / merge definedMeanings: merging is needed if, for example, I've created a new definedMeaning, which already existed
- This is functionality that is needed and has not been defined yet (as in a technical specification)
- should the interface allow to add translations without specifying the meaning?
- You can add a translation to a DefinedMeaning. The DefinedMeaning is without a Definition suspect. So even when you can add translations without a definition.. the translation is suspect itself. GerardM 23:59, 3 April 2006 (CEST)