[sc34wg3] The Norwegian National Body position on ISO 13250

Michel Biezunski sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Mon, 14 Apr 2003 02:08:36 -0400

Thank you for your documented response.

> Steve is describing the current exponential growth of Topic Maps
> in Norway
> and elsewhere.
> I can verify that this is happening. I have had developers keep me up at
> night sometimes at at 1:30 in the morning on IRC explaining one thing or
> another, handing out references, etc. Of course I enjoy it, otherwise i
> wouldn't be doing it.
> There is great enthusiasm in the open source community and universities;
> also elsewhere. They are asking about SAM and what they need for TMCL. A
> graduate student has volunteered to help out with usage scenarios
> for TMCL.
> This is the atmosphere that we are in now. It is very exciting.

These are very good news. To add to the picture, let me add that
there is a growing interest in the US for topic maps, especially
within the government and open source communities. I have been
invited to speak on topic maps in various occasions recently,
including at a Government Web Services working group as well
as in a conference on Open Standards/Open Source for National
and local eGovernment Programs in the U.S. and EU. At that last
conference, Sam Hunting did another presentation on topic maps.

Steve Newcomb did recently a presentation at the Library of
Congress also on topic maps.

See www.web-services.gov and http://www.egovos.org/march-2003/index.htmlOpen
for more details.

We also have reasons to get excited on the perspectives
for topic maps.

> I hope that the same exponential growth can happen in Japan.  The
> leader of
> the ZOPE users group in Japan is interested in topic maps and I
> have tried
> to be a bridge between the Norway and Japan ZOPE developers.
> There is no documentation in Japanese, so it is hard for this to
> go forward.

Do you have any pointer on the Zope/TM-related projects?

> It is not easy without a translation of the documents that are being
> written now.

> > > It is very important that SAM and XTM Syntax
> > > move to CD.
> >
> >This is procedural.
> When a document goes to CD, it is important because then we
> formally begin
> the translation process.

PMTM4 has been translated in Japanese by Naitto-san, and
it was not at that time a CD.

> Michel you said, "I think when you qualify the SAM as a "very
> robust piece
> of computer science" you are exactly right."
> So, it is important to have SAM translated.

Why don't you go forward and translate it right
now? This is independent of the fact it is a CD.
If you consider that the document as it is can
be helpful, I think it would be an excellent
initiative to translate it right now.

It doesn't prevent us to continue discussing
whether the document as it is fulfills the
various requirements that need to be taken
into account. It doesn't prevent us to continue
trying to find the best possible way to combine
the various efforts together so that topic maps
work harmoniously at different levels, as expected.

> With all this explosion, there are more people trying to implement topic
> maps. There is no conformance suite yet.
> All the more reason to get CXTM out and somebody to initiate conformance
> testing, as an OASIS committee possibly. This is good news.

I agree this is an important point. We need
to clarify what we want conformance to mean.
I believe the conformance clause should be
done in such a way to accommodate various
ways to implement topic maps. It seems that
others want to limit the conformance to a more
closed view. The reason why I think this is so
important to discuss is because depending what
we decide now, we are going to orient the topic
maps market in one direction or another. It's
important for me, as one of the editors of
the standard, to be sure that we agree on what
we are doing.

> >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?
> >What kind of standard are we doing? Closed or
> >open?
> Please come to the topicmaps IRC  channel and you will experience what is
> going on. I don't think you would write this way then.

Thank you for inviting me to participate. I currently
have unfortunately no time available. But if your message
is that there is a lot of interest for topic maps,
including for the SAM, I can only applaude. Still the
question remains that we don't want to destroy opportunities
on a longer term even if there are good opportunities
also on the short term.

 > > > Then we begin the translations and software companies will
> > > begin to look at them.
> >
> >The whole point is that software companies are
> >already doing topic maps.
> Not in Japan, really. We need the translations.

Do it now.

> >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.
> I guess you could look though the logs of the IRC channel logs as a
> beginning, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.
> http://www.ontopia.net/topicmaps/irc/irclog/
> I hope this this addresses what you were most concerned about.

I am happy to see all the progress being made
at different levels. I am trying to avoid creating
a new tower of Babel inside Topic maps. And since
we now know better where we are up to, we can
do it if we want it.

The only thing I am proposing is that everybody
tries to *listen* to everybody else without
having predefined conclusions to impose on
others before the discussion takes place
and that we are able to agree on the directions.

But I am not sure that this is achievable
by those, like Steve Pepper, who simply
refuse the discussion. I think it would be
simpler if those in the group who refuse
to discuss simply refrain themselves to
attend the meetings that are precisely
made for these discussions to occur.

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