Manifest abstractions are realizations of abstractions with such fidelity that the abstraction is apparent in the manifestation so well that it is difficult to discern that it is not faithfully represented. In addition, the underlying representation is not evident and it could be achieved in many different ways. The manifestation gives the appearance of the abstraction. Manifestations are evocative of the represented abstraction.
A manifestation is not the abstraction. The manifestation, being perceivable, will have incidental properties that are not of the abstraction itself. The idea is to minimize such baggage so the manifestation of the abstraction is not obscured.
The quality of the manifestation is also contingent. In the case of computational realizations, there may be failures, resource exhaustion, non-termination of procedures, and other limitations that confine the manifestation to a finite aspect of the abstraction. Also, computation takes time and resources, something that abstractions are generally not constrained by.
For the Miser Project, manifestation is separated from interpretation/representation by the creation of a facade -- an interface -- through which the abstraction appears to be present. Although it can be considered that any representation is a successful manifestation, we will confine our use of the term to those situation where the manifestation is apparent and the representation is covered over.
There are numerous examples of manifest abstractions in the development of the Miser Project. The fundamental manifestation in Miser is of the ‹ob› structure itself.
-- Dennis E. Hamilton
created 2001-03-10-08:12 -0800 (pst) by