[sc34wg3] SAM 3.4.4 Reification and 3.4.5 Properties

Luis J. Martinez sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
16 Apr 2003 13:09:32 -0400


Lars wrote:
> I'm not sure we really care if people conform to the SAM. What we want
> is for them to conform to XTM, HyTM, TMCL, and TMQL. What they do
> internally is really their own business, and if we want to standardize
> that we should do it by creating a standard API instead.

> This is what I've been thinking, but as you can see it's not in the
> document. Reactions to this would be very welcome.

To me XTM, HyTM, and a standard API all have the same purpose. There
are interfaces. The fact that some information conforms to these
interfaces doesn't not make the information a topic map. You can have
hundreds of topics, all having the same subject, conforming to XTM but
that does not make it a Topic Map. It is just an XML document. What
makes it a topic map is being able to find all information about a
subject at a single place. We should model that, not just interfaces.
> | I am realizing that what I am looking for if the description of the
> | application semantics of Topic Maps. I think that the RM/TMM is more
> | abstract and the SAM is very low level, almost an API. So, is there
> | something missing in between?

> I think SAM provides the application semantics. What semantics is it
> you would like to see that aren't there?

from SAM - 4 Merging:
"Merging is required to be performed in certain cases, but this is
insufficient to guarantee that there will always be one topic per
subject. Applications are therefore allowed to merge topics as they
see fit."

If we can not specify that there should be one topic per subject, what
are we standardizing? I think the paragraph above is wrong. There is
nothing special about having a set of classes, entities, items,
whatever you want to call them, each with a set of properties. The
semantics of how this "things" are managed is what is needed to
process knowledge.

Luis J. Martinez
tel: 201.401.4816
email: luisjm@luisjm.com