[sc34wg3] Editorial structure of N0396

Lars Marius Garshol sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
22 Apr 2003 18:27:57 +0200

* Patrick Durusau
| Well, customers may not care about the data model and will read ads
| about TMCL and TMQL but I suspect they will have disappointing
| experiences if the data model on which TMCL or TMQL is based is
| insufficient for their needs.

Yes and no. If the data model is not precise enough to tell us exactly
what XTM + TMCL combinations are valid or exactly what results any
given set of XTM + TMQL combinations should give the users (and we :)
will definitely be disappointed, and with good reason.

I don't see the users interacting with the data model at any point,
however. With APIs standardized or proprietary, proprietary database
schemas, proprietary editor interfaces, syntaxes standard and
non-standard, yes, sure, but the data model, never. Only some
representation of it that is either standardized or non-standardized.

So I don't think the data model actually matters to the users and/or
implementors directly, but it does matter in that it provides guidance
to them, that conformance to the other parts is defined in terms of
it, and that the other parts are largely designed based on it.

So, clearly, it is in a sense true to say that the model *is* topic
maps, and I think that's the reason there's been such antagonism
between the SAM/RM camps in a way there has not even been HyTM, XTM,
LTM, and AsTMa= camps. 

When I say that creating the SAM was just fixing the bugs of XTM and
HyTM what I mean is that the model was really implicitly there in
those two specifications. SAM has been criticised for being too close
to the syntax, and whatever the truth or untruth of that it's
certainly not an exaggeration to say that the SAM is the model Geir
Ove (first and foremost), I, Steve Pepper, Kal Ahmed, Graham Moore,
and the Creuna folks all saw hiding underneath the XTM 1.0 syntax.
| Another sign of lack of consensus.

Let's just settle this once and for all: there is not consensus within
this committee that "SAM-when-edited-to-conform-to-ISO-style-and-all-
currently-open-issues-resolved should move to CD stage". I know that,
and I'm not trying to pretend otherwise, nor have I tried to.

* Lars Marius Garshol
| People seem to have a real hard time accepting this, but TMCL and
| TMQL have to build on the model. That means that delaying the model
| also means delaying work on those.

* Patrick Durusau
| Sorry, lost me here. What is "the model?" 

I carefully wrote "the model" here since the point applies regardless
of which model we end up with. The only reasonable candidate right now
is the SAM we currently have, but if we were to continue working on
that to merge it with RM TMCL and TMQL would have to wait. They need a
model, not necessarily SAM, but a model.

| I don't buy the position that if someone fails to agree with me,
| that makes delay their fault.

The facts here are that if we don't send SAM to CD now TMCL and TMQL
will have to be delayed. Work on them will not be able to start now,
but will have to await resolution of SAM/RM.

Do you dispute that?

As for my position that does not involve guilt. Either we finish SAM
now or we don't. I think we must, but not everybody agrees with that.
That doesn't make anyone guilty of anything. 

| Could well be that I should agree with them, or that we should find
| a common position together.

Well, the choices that have been placed before me are:

 a) sit down together with the rest of you to put everything in the
    pot and stir until something emerges that makes us all happy, then
    move on to TMCL/TMQL/XTM/..., or

 b) demand that SAM move to CD once all issues are resolved and it has
    been made to conform with ISO's editorial requirements.

Given this choice I've gone for b), for reasons already stated.

If someone were to place before me an alternative

 c) some form or method of SAM/RM alignment that could be applied that
    would make (or at least has the potential to make) the people on
    the RM side of this discussion happy,

I would be happy to consider whether it has potential to make me happy
and whether it has the potential to do so before it's too late, but
until that happens I'm not going to invest effort and calendar time in
such a venture.

In short, I'm happy to listen to possible proposals for solutions,
however incomplete, but personally I can't think of any.

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