some ket label conventions

Now, as I said previously, ket labels can be anything except <, |, > and \r and \n.
But we have some conventions.

For a start we separate categories from sub-categories using ": ".
|plant: tree>
|plant: tree: elm>
also with the convention that the sub-categories are a subset of the parent category.
(though perhaps in some cases it is useful to break this convention).
So in this case, tree is clearly a subset of the concept plant.
And elm is clearly a subset of the concept tree, and plant.

Note that we are not forced to use categories (which I guess could equally validly be called "data-types").
closing-time |monday> => |5pm>
closing-time |day: monday> => |time: 5pm>
So, while categories/data-types are not mandated, they are often useful.

Next, we have _list.
We use this (again by convention) to define a list of objects.
eg, the states in Australia:
|Australia: state: _list> => |state: Western Australia> + |state: South Australia> + |state: Queensland> + |state: New South Wales> + |state: Victoria> + |state: Tasmania>

eg, shopping list:
|shopping: _list> => 4|apples> + 6|bananas> + 2|tomatos> + |coffee> + |milk> + |bread>

Finally, we have *.
|category: *> matches all members of "category".
And |*> matches everything!
(we have some "magic" behind the scenes to make this work. More on that later)

Here is an example, learning that all plants die:
will-die |plant> => |yes>
will-die |plant: *> => |yes>

Then if we ask the system:
will-die |plant: tree> we get |yes>
And if we ask:
will-die |plant: tree: elm> we get |yes>

More to come!

Update: we have conventions for operator names too!
There are two main types of operators, those that step from one ket to other kets, and those that only change the coeff of the ket. It is sometimes useful to distinguish between these two cases. eg:
op |x> => |a> + |b> + |c> is type 1.
op |x> => 3.14159|x> is type 2.
The convention (though sometimes ignored) is the for this second type to have -self appended to its name. eg, a common usage:
population |Adelaide> => |population: 1200000>
population-self |Adelaide> => 1200000|Adelaide>
Type 2 operators are very useful when working with lists of objects. Examples of this later!
The other thing to note is that in general type 1 operators do not commute, but type 2 operators always commute. op2-self op1-self |x> == op1-self op2-self |x> for example.

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updated: 19/12/2016
by Garry Morrison
email: garry -at-