[sc34wg3] Re: Montreal meeting recommendations

Lars Marius Garshol sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
16 Sep 2001 14:18:20 +0200

* Steven R. Newcomb
| I believe that at least one of the purposes of the core model should
| be [...]

I think I have now finally understood what is going on.  

What seems to have happened is that what you call topic maps is no
longer the same as what ISO 13250 and XTM 1.0 calls topic maps.
Instead, ISO 13250 and XTM 1.0 are now what you call "topic map
applications", while PMTM4 is what you call "topic maps". 

That is, to you topic maps consist of subject identity points,
associations, and scope, and nothing more. Base names, occurrences,
and variant names are all just application-specific constructs built
using the more fundamental model, and these constructs have no special
status compared to other constructs that might be built with the same

Am I right? Is this what you mean?

If this is correct I think 

  a) that I understand why you want two models,

  b) that you should be much more careful with what terms you use, 

  c) that we need to be careful about how this is represented to the
     outside world, and

  d) that this is a very interesting idea.

I like the idea that underneath topic maps[1] another, simpler and
more fundamental, model is hiding. I would be very interested to work
on discovering what it looks like and how it works. I don't believe
PMTM4 1.0.2 represents its final and perfect form, but I do believe it
can serve as a useful starting point.

Given this new understanding (providing it is correct) it seems to me
that our first objective must be to agree on and document a common
terminology. It seems to me that we will keep banging our heads
against the wall as long as we continue to violate the topic naming

Answers to the other questions I posed would also be nice. I still
think we should proceed as planned, but the idea of two distinct
models now makes a lot more sense to me.

--Lars M.

[1] I'm using the terminology established by ISO 13250 & XTM 1.0 in
    this message, not your new alternative.