[sc34wg3] Conformance

Kal Ahmed sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Mon, 28 Apr 2003 09:20:44 +0100

Lars Marius Garshol wrote:

>* Robert Barta
>| Jan, 
>| I think it is quite simple:
>|   1) you create some implementation of what you think is a TM
>|      implementation, in that you create your databases, internals,
>|      whatever
>|   2) to "prove" that your application is "SAM conformant" you simply
>|      define a mapping of concepts of SAM (and operations if we had
>|      those) onto your API (or your API concepts).
>Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Jan already accepted this, and
>what he is asking is whether step 2) has any value here. Personally, I
>don't think it does, and I think the conformance requirements of the
>syntaxes, APIs, and query/constraint languages will be all we will
>need, but the opinions of others would be welcome on this.
I agree with Lars Marius. Unless/until there is a common API, I think 
SAM conformance in terms of an API are pretty meaningless. What is not 
meaningless though are the operations that the SAM requires a topic map 
processor to perform and validation that a processor does indeed perform 
those operations is probably best done not by inspection but by testing 
the application against a conformance test suite. So SAM + CXTM + 
conformance test suite is needed to prove the level of conformance which 
I as a user would expect from an application, and to which I as a 
developer would build my topic map processing software.

>| [ Hope I got it right in this abridged form ]
>You did.
>| True, but it will be more difficult to fool the outside if I ask
>| your application to round-trip an XTM document.
>Exactly. So why have your step 2) above?
Round-tripping the XML interchange syntax of the topic map is not really 
a test of conformance. XTM->processing->CXTM  should be the way to 
validate a topic map processor.