[sc34wg3] Re: integrating all TMAs

Steve Pepper sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Tue, 15 Apr 2003 10:42:07 +0200

This posting and a phone conversation with Patrick yesterday
cleared up what for me at least was a major misunderstanding.

At 14:39 14.04.2003 -0400, Patrick Durusau wrote:
>* Graham:
>>Let me explain some of the biggest concerns I have about the new RM and 
>>how they exemplify my comments above. Bernard made a point that I 
>>heartily agree with. He noted, as have I, that the new RM makes a claim 
>>to be able to unambigously integrate all TMAs. This is a bogus notion.
>Not sure what you mean by "unambigously integrate all TMAs." There are no 
>statements that I can find in the TMM that refer to integrating TMAs. 
>Perhaps you could point me to the portion of the TMM that lead you to this 
>conclusion? If there is language that is mis-leading on this point I would 
>like to know where it can be found.
>Nothing about automatically integrating TMAs nor anything particularly 
>remarkable about distinguishing properties by their origin.

I too was under the impression that the RM, in some
magical, undefined way, would allow "topic maps"
conforming to multiple "TMAs" to be integrated
automatically, without any further user activity.

>to do the 'merger' you refer to in your post would require a third TMA 
>that governs the topic map instances that are governed by your other two TMAs.

And that third "TMA" would have to be designed and
implemented by a user (or developer) based on the
(purely human-readable) documentation of the SIDP
facilities of the two original "TMAs", right?

OK. Then I think I understand a lot more. In a sense,
what the RM is saying is:

* Here is a generic model of topics and assertions
   (and, most importantly, subject identification
   facilities) that can be used to express [pretty
   much] *any* kind of information.

* The SAM is a specialization of this model that
   subclasses assertions as associations, occurrences,
   names and variants (and permits a special kind of
   assertion - called scope - to be made about those

* All information models that can be thought of in
   terms of topics and assertions[1] can be mapped to
   the RM and those mappings can be documented in such
   a way that humans can build applications that
   integrate[2] information conforming to many
   different models.

Am I getting close? Is there anything else?


[1] Which may be all information models, I don't know
[2] The most important goal is such 'integration' is
     achievement of the collocation objective ("SLUO").

Steve Pepper, Ontopian