[sc34wg3] N0391-0394: New SAM/XTM documents

Michel Biezunski sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Fri, 11 Apr 2003 21:08:46 -0400


You did a great job with the new version of the SAM.

I think that considering all the work that has
been put into the Topic Maps standard, we should
be in a better position than ever to get to clarify
the remaining points and to articulate the various
pieces together in a way that would make each piece
work optimally for what it has been designed for.

However, I don't think that there is any reason
to hurry. It's important that we as a group come
to a common understanding of what is what and
why it's there. 

I understand that as far as you are concerned,
you consider the Sam pretty much as cooked. But
now starts the process of studying every piece of
it to make sure that it fits the common needs that
we have the mission to provide as a standard. We
don't want to have a standard made of stuff which
are not very well integrated with each other.

As Patrick said in his mail, we are still a long
way from being there and it's important that we
devote the time that we'll have in London to start
doing precisely that.

I don't believe that at the point where we are
now, having tight deadlines for publishing is
of any help. On the contrary, if we want topic
maps to succeed on the long term, we'd better
work our way out to make the various pieces make
sense together, instead of against each other.

Now what needs to be done is that we work out how 
the pieces articulate. This might -- and necessarily 
will -- have the effect of changing parts in each of the
participating models, and this is good. This will
give us a stronger and long-term viable standard.

One other reason why we are not on a hurry is that
TM is already an established standard. It is perceived
as such, and the fact that there is a new version in
preparation is good. We are not missing opportunities
of adoptions by not being ready yet with a new version. 
The big organizations that are currently evaluating 
the adoption of Topic Maps say to us that what they
need is a standard, and it is their understanding that
the standard already exists, which is true.

I can understand your desire as an implementer to get 
things clarified, and to improve product interoperability
and resolve all the issues that are not clear enough
in the first version, but going too fast in that direction,
without taking all the time it needs to build the
consensus might bring the opposite result, i.e. that
we end up with a standard made of pieces which are
not designed to work harmoniously with each other. 
This might endanger the future of the standard because
we might get applications that have nothing in common
claiming compatibility with the same standard (depending
on which piece of the standard they refer to) and
we can damage the credibility of the standard as such. 

If we adopt something without having looked at all its 
effects and what are its foundations, we will get the
opposite result: get a weaker standard instead of
a stronger one.

This is my understand of why Patrick wants to 
have this discussion and I strongly support his position.
I do not think that putting a deadline for publication
at the point we are now is productive. 

Let's relax, and enjoy a good talk in London
about the progress that has been made on several

Michel Biezunski
Coolheads Consulting
402 85th Street #5C
Brooklyn, New York 11209
Web  :http://www.coolheads.com
Voice: (718) 921-0901

> -----Original Message-----
> From: sc34wg3-admin@isotopicmaps.org
> [mailto:sc34wg3-admin@isotopicmaps.org]On Behalf Of Lars Marius Garshol
> Sent: Friday, April 04, 2003 9:29 AM
> To: sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
> Subject: [sc34wg3] N0391-0394: New SAM/XTM documents
> I've now posted the following documents to the ISO document registry:
>   N0391: SAM        <URL: http://www.isotopicmaps.org/sam/sam-model/ >
>   N0392: SAM: Proposed resolutions
>   N0393: XTM syntax <URL: http://www.isotopicmaps.org/sam/sam-xtm/ >
>   N0394: XTM: Proposed resolutions
> These will appear shortly in the ISO document registry, but copies are
> available on the isotopicmaps.org web site as well.
> -- 
> Lars Marius Garshol, Ontopian         <URL: http://www.ontopia.net >
> GSM: +47 98 21 55 50                  <URL: http://www.garshol.priv.no >
> _______________________________________________
> sc34wg3 mailing list
> sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
> http://www.isotopicmaps.org/mailman/listinfo/sc34wg3