[sc34wg3] Some general comments on the RM (branching from the thread Re: [s c34wg3] The Norwegian National Body position on ISO 13250)

Mason, James David (MXM) sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Wed, 16 Apr 2003 10:30:52 -0400

Murray Altheim observed to me offline that the notions of abstract and
concrete syntaxes might apply here. I would say that the RM is an abstract
syntax and that XTM and HyTM are concrete syntaxes. The SAM is something
that mediates between abstract and concrete.

I don't particularly care about labels; it's more important that we
understand the relationships among our various things (anyone want to build
a TM?).


-----Original Message-----
From: Lars Marius Garshol [mailto:larsga@garshol.priv.no]
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2003 5:53 PM
To: sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Subject: Re: [sc34wg3] Some general comments on the RM (branching from
the thread Re: [s c34wg3] The Norwegian National Body position on ISO

* James David Mason
| It's interesting to see you agree that the RM is syntactic at the
| same time that I'm getting other people wondering how it can
| possibly be syntactic.

I think that reflects different views of what a syntax is. For some
people that means "something serialized as a stream of bytes", whereas
others take a wider view. See the definitions of several query and
constraint languages, and you'll see the term "abstract syntax" used
for something that has a defined structure but no byte stream

Not that it really matters. It's just arguing over labels. I think we
all agree that the RM defines a structure. What you are saying is that
it doesn't say enough about how to interpret that structure. I'm not
sure I buy that criticism.
| I agree that the SAM has much more concrete semantics because it
| develops things like names and associations. But the RM has to
| establish some foundation for your ability to create those. 


| Is a name a type of assertion?  I think so.

I do, too. I don't think there's any disagreement there.

| Is an association also an assertion? Certainly.


| Figure 1 in the current RM started out, I believe, as a detailed
| dissection of an association. 

What's funny is that at the TM User's Group meeting in Norway one of
the vendors (no, not Ontopia) used it to illustrate an association.

| The current figure simply removes the concrete subjects (which were
| orignially things like "Lena Horne" and "Stormy Weather" and later
| became someone with a Harvard M.D.)  and leaves you with bones and
| no skin.  It's OK for the SAM to start putting skin on the bones,
| but the RM is so abstract now that the wind will blow those dry
| bones away.

I'm afraid I don't know what that means.

Lars Marius Garshol, Ontopian         <URL: http://www.ontopia.net >
GSM: +47 98 21 55 50                  <URL: http://www.garshol.priv.no >

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