[sc34wg3] RE: Thoughts on the RM

Sam Hunting sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Fri, 25 Apr 2003 09:49:22 -0400 (EDT)

> 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 remember when Omnimark was Exoterica (making me a younger SGML hand) and
they showed us how to make nroff markup SGML... Happy, happy days!

> What is important here is that the roles of the element are the same, even
> if their names are not. 

We spend entirely too much time on this list arguing about names (SLUO v
"col(l)ocation objective"). Better to congratulate ourselves on having
reached a rought consensus on this point and move on...

> 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.

A clarification: Surely now XSLT only?

Sam Hunting
eTopicality, Inc.

Co-editor:  ISO Reference Model for Topic Maps 
  Topic map consulting and training: www.etopicality.com
Free open source topic map tools:  www.gooseworks.org
  XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web.
Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-74960-2.