[sc34wg3] RE: Thoughts on the RM

Martin Bryan sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Fri, 25 Apr 2003 08:20:27 +0100

Steve Pepper wrote:

> Imagine this:
> Someone has just invented XML and it doesn't seem to be doing too well; it
> certainly isn't pervasive yet. That person notices that lots of people are
> using a syntax based on backslashes and curly brackets instead of pointy
> brackets:
>     \author{Jane Doe}   instead of   <author>Jane Doe</author>
> So he goes off and invents a Reference Model for XML which allows them to
> claim that well, actually, LaTeX *is* XML (although its users don't know
> that). The few people that took any notice of such a preposterous claim
> would simply find it laughable.

A word of warning Steve from a old SGML hand :-)

\author{Jane Doe{ is valid SGML, as is <author>Jane Doe</author>.

I could imagine another markup language that would make <author
ml1:etago="/">Jane Doe/ valid just as I could envisage the following being a
topic map:

       <Title>Topic Maps
           <Subtitle>application of</Subtitle>





What is important here is that the roles of the element are the same, even
if their names are not. What the model needs to do is to identify the roles
topic maps components play, and the permitted set of relationships between
those roles. In the case of XML it is the well formedness of nested named
elements that may or may not conform to the model that defines whether or
not something can be transformed to comply with XML. Similarly with Topic
Maps. Anything that can be validly transformed, using XSLT, inot something
conforming to one or other approved syntax of 13250 should be considered a
valid topic map.

Martin Bryan