[sc34wg3] Re: Backwards Compatability WAS: Public Interest and ISO WAS: [topicmapmail] <mergeMap> questions

Kal Ahmed sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Fri, 19 Oct 2001 11:28:18 +0100

At 13:02 18/10/2001 -0700, Sam Hunting wrote:
>[sam hunting]
> > >If you were convinced that the spec or the paradigm were broken, and
> > >that to be fixed, changes that were backwards incompatible for
> > >applications had to be made in the spec, would you support the
> > >changes? That's the question before us.
>[kal ahmed]
> > Yes I would support it. However, your definition of what constitutes
> > broken and mine are possibly different.
>Probably, but at least we have agreement in principle.

Its just a shame that the basis of that principle is not agreed on ;-)

[Lots of discussion about W3C specs between two people who don't know the 
history of W3C specs deleted...Murray help us please!]

>[kal ahmed]
> > I certainly do want it recognised that ISO 13250 exists, it was
> > published less than 2 years ago.
>Seems like forever, doesn't it? Time doesn't fly when you're not having
>fun, and vice versa.
>In your opinion, did the rapid development of XTM from 13250 grow or
>shrink the market? And you see how I am trying to trap you ;-) -- if it
>grew the market, then why should we (the "community", in Murray's
>formulation) be concerned with rapid change?

The market grew as the early-adopters came on board. Lets be honest, the 
market grew because a number of commercial companies got out there and 
spread the word. It had very little to do with XTM - except that XTM 
enabled vendors to leverage XML and XLink and so get their products to 
market faster. Now the early-adopters are crying out for more and better 
tools, for ancillary standards such as TMQL and TMCL (at least, many of the 
ones I spoke to for my paper are) and we are now seeing that the response 
of the topic map community is to tell vendors not to get on with improving 
applications and developing the tools that are needed, but instead to go 
back and reimplement a core part of their engine.

> > > > that enable us to develop TMCL 1.0 and TMQL 1.0. Lets not revisit
> > > > basic model issues.
> > >
> > >I'm unclear on the distinction that you draw between defining models
> > >that work with XTM 1.0 and basic model issues that we should not
> > >revisit?
> >
> > Lets build TMCL 1.0 and TMQL 1.0 on the models of ISO 13250 and XTM
> > 1.0,
> > not on the "fixed" model that has no representation in either
> > interchange
> > syntax and no extant support in the vendor community.
>Not what I meant -- I didn't understand what you meant by "model".
>Actually, it is probably best not to tangle this thread further by
>bringing that up.

Then we shall leave it.

>[kal ahmed]
> > IMHO "moving forward" is two things:
> > 1) Developing ancillary standards - TMCL, TMQL, a topic map API
> > 2) Fostering and supporting a user community around topicmaps and the
> > two  existning interchange syntaxes
>This sounds like a reasonable (how about I use that word instead of
>ITPI?) set of objectives.
>[kal ahmed]
> > IMHO "moving forward" is not:
> > 1) Altering a basic assumption made by both users and vendors (that
> > association roles only have one scope)
>The problem here, I think, is that point 1 above depends on SOME sort
>of formal model that enables both interchange syntaes, and modelling,
>as we all know, because we've been through it, can be a process of

And I believe that one can be developed that does not involve multiple 
scopes on associations. In fact I fervently hope that one can be developed 
that can be sufficiently rigorous and well-defined to enable TMQL and TMCL 
to move forward without setting the application developers back 12 months.

> > without first hearing a
> > clamouring  from one or preferably both of those communities.
>Well, we can present alternatives as they come up. This is part of the
>balancing I keep advocating. For example, I've heard from information
>owners and other members of the community that topic map/RDF
>convergence is a concern to them. That is an example of the sort of
>requirement to be balanced. And this too is probably another thread.

I think it is, I don't think that the issue of RDF/topic map convergence is 
connected to this discussion except by using the "6-degrees of Kevin Bacon"