[sc34wg3] The Norwegian National Body position on ISO 13250

Steve Pepper sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Sun, 13 Apr 2003 14:47:18 +0200

At 08:05 13.04.2003 -0400, Michel Biezunski wrote:
>* Mary
> > It is very important that SAM and XTM Syntax
> > move to CD.
>This is procedural.

What does that mean? That it's not important?

>What about the question I
>asked to Steve Pepper and that he has not answered
>yet: what is the nature of the incompatibilities
>that several software products are exhibiting
>re: Topic Maps?

I'm sorry it took me all of 9 hours to reply.

Actually you asked for examples which, as you will
have seen, I cannot give on a public list. If you
had asked for the *nature* of the incompatibilities
it would have been easier:

People are creating products that apply the concepts in
ways that do not conform to the model and that result in
topic maps that cannot be usefully interchanged between
systems. Anyone using such a system in the belief that
they will be partaking of the benefits of topic maps is
going to be very disappointed at some point in the

>Should we try to review the standard in order
>to accommodate this new reality of people outside
>the group claiming they are doing topic maps by
>looking at what they have done, or should we say:
>everybody who was not in the committee should not
>be allowed to call their products topic maps?

Please read my original posting again. When I talked
about software being developed by people who have not
participated in the standards process, I wrote: "In
itself this is obviously very welcome." Please do not
insinuate that anyone wants to prevent those people
from "calling their products topic maps". That is NOT
the point at all. Quite the opposite. The Norwegian
National Body WANTS people to develop topic map
software, but it wants that software to be conformant
to the standard we already have, ISO 13250.

>What kind of standard are we doing? Closed or

Open, of course, how can you doubt that? (Again, please
do not ascribe exclusionist motives.)

But having said that, please note that "open" does NOT
mean woolly, poorly-defined, and impossible-to-implement-

We want a standard that is documented in such a way that
it can be correctly implemented with the least possible
amount of effort.

>The whole point is that software companies are
>already doing topic maps. My point is that we
>need to look at what they are doing. It might
>happen that some software is really important for
>the market and that it's good that it can claim
>compatibility with topic maps. But we don't know
>yet, because Steve Pepper has not given the information
>we need to assess that.

In general, the more software companies that release
topic maps products the better. However, the greater
the lack of conformance, the greater the problems we
will face further down the road.

Although I can't reveal the identities of the products
I have in mind (in this forum), let me assure you that
it does not fall into the category "really important for
the market". By this, I mean I am not talking about, say,
the topic maps support in, say, Lotus Notes, Borland's
content management software, or Microsoft's Longhorn.

Steve Pepper, Ontopian