[sc34wg3] The interpretation of facets

Michel Biezunski sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Sat, 26 Apr 2003 20:31:26 -0400


The issue you are raising about facets 
touches the question on what and how
to reify and is one of the central issues 
the TMM is addressing. I urge you to 
read it again in this perspective. Maybe 
this time you will be able to understand 
it more than the first time you tried,
because you would have an angle with
which you can read it.

I don't think that the SAM as exposed
now is able to address this, because 
precisely of some of the weaknesses it 
has about reification. By the way these issues 
need to be studied at length. In
the current state, we are facing
serious interoperability problems
such as how to interpret facets. 
With the mails recently written about 
considering conformance as a secondary
issue, there is not much to be left 
to make it a standard. I hope that the 
discussion in London will help making 
progress in that direction, because
this is a serious concern. Why having
a standard if we only can guess what
it does?

A solution to that is to deserialize
the SAM into a microscope
such as the one provided by the TMM. 
It is a way to make explicit
what's happening under the cover
and stop relying on specific
implementations to decide in our
place. I am afraid that the problem
which Martin is confronted to is
only the tip of the iceberg. Let's
make sure that the standard will work
the way it is supposed to and can
actually qualify as a standard.

My responsability as one of the editors
of the standard is to make sure that
we use the up-to-date tools we have
in our disposal to handle the pending
issues. You are asking me to go
backward, I don't see why I should
do that.

Just for the record, although I was
present when facets were removed, not
in Dallas as you said but in Swindon UK 
if I recall properly, I was one of the 
few (or maybe the only one) who 
opposed to that decision. 

Michel Biezunski
Coolheads Consulting
402 85th Street #5C
Brooklyn, New York 11209
Web  :http://www.coolheads.com
Voice: (718) 921-0901

> -----Original Message-----
> From: sc34wg3-admin@isotopicmaps.org
> [mailto:sc34wg3-admin@isotopicmaps.org]On Behalf Of Steve Pepper
> Sent: Saturday, April 26, 2003 4:44 PM
> To: sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
> Subject: RE: [sc34wg3] The interpretation of facets
> At 08:59 26.04.2003 -0400, Michel Biezunski wrote:
> >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?
> In one sense this is an interesting suggestion. The results
> might indeed help throw more light on the RM. On the other hand,
> I think this suggestion, coming from one of the editors of 13250,
> is less than responsible.
> The committee has agreed that both XTM and HyTM should be
> expressed in terms of the SAM. That is what Martin has tried to
> do - heroically - in N391, and for the most part he has succeeded.
> There remain a few warts, including the issue of facets. In my
> opinion, the editors of 13250 have an obligation to work together
> to see if these remaining warts can be removed.
> You, Michel, have a particular responsibility in this regard, I
> would say, because you are not only an editor of 13250. In many
> respects, you are "Mr. Facets" himself, don't you agree?
> * Facets are only in 13250 because you fought tooth and nail to
>    keep them in there, in the face of very strong opposition,
>    especially from the proponents of the Whataburger model who
>    thought scope did the same thing, only better (which it doesn't).
> * You were also present (in Dallas) when the unanimous decision
>    was taken by TopicMaps.Org to not include facets in XTM.
> * Finally, you wrote the only official documentation (N277) of the
>    position of the editors regarding the lack of explicit support
>    for facets in XTM.*
> N277 says the following:
>    Facets are not mentioned in the XTM DTD.
>    ----------------------------------------
>    In the HyTime-based meta-DTD, facets are qualifiers used to
>    assign a property (and a value for the property) to an
>    information object. Facets are not needed in the XTM DTD
>    because the XTM DTD allows a topic map author to explicitly
>    regard an information object as a subject in itself (a subject
>    constituting resource). In the XTM DTD, therefore, it is
>    possible to associate properties and values with information
>    objects by means of <association> elements.
> This accords well with the position I have outlined in my two
> postings recently, but it is far from sufficient. The Japanese
> National Body asked for further clarification a year ago, in
> N310, and specifically requested
>    examples on how a topic map author might use XTM syntax to
>    "explicitly regard an information object as a subject in
>    itself (a subject constituting resource)" and "associate
>    properties and values with information objects by means of
>    <association> elements", and how this is similar to but
>    somewhat different from how the facets in HyTime-based
>    meta-DTD act as qualifiers to "assign a property (and value
>    for the property) to an information object" should be
>    provided.
> It is time this request was answered. If it is the case that
> the information content inherent in a <facet> element can be
> equivalently expressed in XTM, the method for doing so needs
> to be spelled out. As you will see from my mammoth posting
> earlier today, there are at least two proposals for ways in
> which this might be done (mine and N391). We need to decide on
> a single unified approach, otherwise we haven't done our job.
> I kindly request, therefore, that as an editor of 13250 with
> almost a special responsibility for facets, you help clear
> things up, instead of simply pointing Martin in the direction
> of the RM. As an editor of 13250, you (like SRN and Martin)
> have a responsibility to address issues like this with the
> utmost seriousness.
> Steve
> * At least I assume you wrote it, since the same explanation
>    (with slightly different wording) appears in your chapter of
>    Jack Park's book.
> --
> Steve Pepper, Ontopian
> http://www.ontopia.net
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