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

Sam Hunting sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Sun, 21 Oct 2001 13:12:41 -0700 (PDT)

> My only accusation has been your use of a rhetorical rather
> than a technical argument. 

The older I get the less difference I see. I hasten to add that I see
this as enhancing the value of the technical, rather than diminishing
it. (Rhetoric has its own technique -- it's a lot like content
analysis. See, oh, Aristotle...) I note also, Murray and Steve, that it
seems like many of the criticisms of TMPM4 focus on its rhetorical
aspects ("too hard to understand") rather than its technical onces. The
desire of humans to persuade or be persuaded through texts is

> I don't think it fair to lean on
> what might be the "public interest" any more than it's useful
> to use a "sky is falling" point. 

I feel the same way about "community" that others feel about "the
public interest". Of course, I have to overcome my distaste, since PSIs
(for example) are to make sense for "communities" of interest or

> If they don't all agree it's because there isn't a really clear 
> picture underlying all. 

Or if there is a clear picture it has not been discovered, or has not
been sufficiently well communicated. I note that the "data model" work
for ISO topic maps "core", as I read the ISO minutes, directs the
editors of 13250 to seek exactly such a "clear picture underlying all."
I don't see how this can be done without asking questions and
discussing issues. Questions and discussions shouldn't be categorized
as "destroying stability."

> I'm just suggesting that the functionality and interoperability
> of the *existing* specification(s) be considered very seriously
> before resorting to a policy of "fixing" things.

This, I take it, is distinct from the stability of the existing

> Eg., my car engine makes a funny noise but it still runs fine. I'm
> not willing to try to repair it unless I'm sure its really necessary
> and I'll not make things worse, causing me to give up it and start 
> riding a skateboard.

I want an electric skateboard!


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