[sc34wg3] N0429: Topic Maps Reference Model: Requirements

Patrick Durusau sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Sun, 03 Aug 2003 12:36:29 -0400


Just a quick note of thanks for your comments!

The requirements were substantially re-written by the working group and 
a new draft date fixed for 15 October 2003. The re-written requirements 
will appear as part of the working group report to appear shortly after 
the meeting.

In later discussion, I pointed out your specific request for "one or 
more real-world business problems" and the committee agreed that the 
requirements document could be cast with the much shorter requirements 
part first, with a distinct second part devoted to the "real-world 
business problems." I thought that would help maintain focus in the 
respective parts of the document.

Hope you are having a great day!


Steve Pepper wrote:
> Patrick,
> Thanks for your quick response to my comments. I don't
> have time to reply in as much depth as I would like before
> the WG3 meetings get under way, but maybe a few more short
> comments would help the discussion.
> | > The thing I (at any rate) was looking for was something more
> | > along the lines of what is called "Purpose and justification" in
> | > New Work Item proposals.
> |
> | Will have to look at the requirements (sorry, no pun intended) for
> | "Purpose and Justification" statements. Perhaps I can find ones in other
> | New Work Item proposals to use as a guide.
> Rather than you go looking for the meta-requirements let me simply
> say that my view of what "Purpose and Justification" is about is:
> Explaining to the world outside SC34 (in particular the National
> Bodies that vote for or against a NWI), *why* we are proposing a
> certain work item (in this case, the RM) *in terms they understand*.
> For me, the latter means that the explanation has to be couched
> in terms of one or more real-world business problems. At present
> N429 is still too abstract in this regard. (Elaborating the IRS
> example would probably help at lot, especially if you could provide
> a couple of other examples as well.)
> | Not meaning to be difficult but the SAM/TAO are not presently part of
> | ISO 13250. XTM syntax has been added but not the XTM specification.
> I was not suggesting that either the SAM, the TAO, or the prose of
> the XTM specification are parts of the approved 13250 as of today.
> Obviously they are not. I was simply using SAM/TAO/XTM as a label for
> one interpretation or view of 13250 - the one which I believe is both
> the dominant and the more historically accurate one (which is not to
> say that it is the view we necessarily want to end up with).
> | In brief I was trying to say, probably poorly, that the RM should make
> | explicit the underpinning ideas of topic maps, which can only be
> | inferred from the current version of ISO 13250. Since it defined an
> | interchange syntax, it did not ever make the reasoning for various
> | aspects of the interchange syntax clear.
> Making explicit the underpinning ideas is what the whole restatement
> of 13250 is about - not just the RM. There is no doubt that we need
> such a restatement; what is not (yet) clear to everyone is that we
> need the RM in order to do that. Hence my insistence that we need
> to justify the need for a RM before discussing how it should work
> or what it should look like.
> | I thought the document made it clear that there was no intent to go
> | beyond ISO 13250, which is as was originally approved, with the addition
> | of the XTM syntax as an appendix.
> |
> | I really don't think, and here is where a conference call might (or
> | might not) help, that either Newcomb or myself are proposing anything
> | that could be considered "beyond 13250." It would be helpful (realizing
> | this is an imposition on your time when other matters are probably
> | pressing) if you could say how any particular part of the requirements
> | document shows an effort to go "beyond 13250."
> |
> | Don't limit yourself to the explicit language in the document as I don't
> | want to play word games but honestly would like to know in what way you
> | think the RM (or the requirements document) proposes to go "beyond 13250."
> I don't think I can answer that question to either your satisfaction
> or mine in the short time I have available right now before the start
> of the meeting. I readily admit that N429 has far less new terminology
> and concepts than previous iterations of the PM4TM/RM/TMMM, which in
> my opinion is a BIG step in the right direction. However, I still
> think there is a very large residue of thinking which says that there
> are some "things" out there, which legitimately might be called "topic
> maps", which cannot be expressed in either HyTM or XTM syntax, and that
> do not conform to the model described in the draft of 13250-2. If that
> is the case, and the RM is designed to cater for those "things", then
> the RM, in my opinion, does indeed go beyond the current 13250.
> If such "things" do exist, I need to know what they are, *why* they
> cannot be expressed in terms of 13250-2 and -3, and why they still might
> legitimately be called "topic maps". Once I am convinced of their
> existence and understand their nature, the first thing I will want to
> do is look at 13250-2 and -3 to see whether they can be accomodated,
> without having to introduce a whole new "reference model".
> I hope this clarifies the position a little.
> Have a good meeting everyone!
> Steve
> --
> Steve Pepper <pepper@ontopia.net>
> Chief Executive Officer, Ontopia
> Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3
> Editor, XTM (XML Topic Maps 1.0)
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Patrick Durusau
Director of Research and Development
Society of Biblical Literature
Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model

Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work!