[sc34wg3] The interpretation of facets

Sam Hunting sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Sat, 26 Apr 2003 09:31:01 -0400 (EDT)

On Sat, 26 Apr 2003, Michel Biezunski wrote:

> Martin Bryan:
> > I do not see any other way in which we can create associations with items
> > that are not otherwise part of the topic map using the existing set of
> > components in the SAM. I feel it should not be necessary to abuse the SAM
> > Occurrence item in this way, but given the SAM team's refusal to add a
> > proper Facet item to the model the only choice I had was to force the
> > creation of topics for facet-property-name/facet-property-value 
> > pairs and to
> > associate these with SAM Occurrence items. I have always objected against
> > needing to create topics specifically to record the names of 
> > facets and the
> > values assigned to them. The proposals in N391 are anethema to 
> > me, but they
> > are the only way I can see of applying the current set of SAM information
> > items to the recording of facets that allows all possible uses of 
> > facets to
> > be covered.
> Martin,
> Why instead of mapping to SAM don't you consider this
> approach? Map the HyTm DTD to the TMM. Interchange could then 
> take place at that level instead and you might not have to change 
> the DTD at all. You would still be able to use the HyTime DTD as 
> such with facets and all the rest and be able to interchange with
> a SAM-based application?
> I think the problem you're facing is just the first one
> in a series of problems that we are seeing appearing all
> around. There are variant structures that are potential
> candidates to be integrated into topic maps, and the
> SAM model (as well as the XTM DTD) have not been designed
> to enable that. They have been designed for one unique
> representation, and there are many people who are reluctant
> or can't convert into that particular model.

Let me quickly and even more informally than usual amplify my support of
this view, since it impacts on that hoary old chestnut of an argument (a
"permathread"?) of "not topic maps."

In my view, the way to achieve optimum community benefit is not to insist
on a single unique representation (as has in my understanding been claimed
for the SAM), but to enable us to "embrace and extend" inherent topic map
information where found.

This puts the achievement of the fundamental objective of topic maps --
the Subject Location Uniqueness Objective -- front and center as the
distinctive competence of the topic maps community.[1] If there are other
information structures that (seek to) achieve this objective, then the TMM
should allow them to be defined as TMAs like the SAM. 

Sam Hunting
eTopicality, Inc.

[1] The marketing cliche for this is "sell the hole, not the drill."

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.