[sc34wg3] Topic Maps land and SAM land

Lars Marius Garshol sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
09 Feb 2003 22:34:23 +0100

* Nikita Ogievetsky
| As I have mentioned in the other thread,
| I often tell people upon reviewing their implementations:
| "You know, your architecture is very close to topic maps."
| I do not mean that they have occurrences and basenames explicitly spelled
| out.
| I mean that they have some indexed material, subjects, structured
| relationships between subjects, defined structures, etc.
| Something that is representable in RM.

Well, would it be any easier for them to use the RM than to use SAM?
Let's, for the sake of the discussion, assume that there were as many
RM tools as SAM tools. Would it make any difference? How could they
use the RM more easily than the SAM?

The RM people keep claiming that the RM can be applied more easily to
data in other models/formats than XTM, and that this cannot be done
with SAM, but that claim makes no sense to me. Quite a bit of the paid
work I've done over the last months has involved mapping existing
information to topic maps[1] using our autogeneration toolkit. I've
mapped information in ordinary XML documents, in HTML documents, in
CSV files, thesauri in textual formats, glossaries in XML format, and
bibliographic databases in XML format, and it has all been *easy*.

So I would really like to know what basis people have for claiming
that the RM simplifies anything in this regard. Have you even done
this, or are these claims simply conjecture?

| And here they are invited into the SAM land, if they choose to.
| But they do not have to. Sorry, dear vendors.
| But do not get upset: as times goes they may come back.
| If they have a clear picture of how their knowledge representation
| is mappable into RM, the easier will be migration into the SAM land.
| But lets welcome everybody who speak Topic Maps :-)

Nikita, I don't see the difference. It's not that I object to any of
what you say, or think that it's all wrong. What I don't buy is the
"they are already using a form of the RM"-bit. You have to do some
kind of mapping and conversion regardless of whether you use the RM
or the SAM, and I can't for the life of me see that there is a real

[1] ISO 13250 sense.

Lars Marius Garshol, Ontopian         <URL: http://www.ontopia.net >
GSM: +47 98 21 55 50                  <URL: http://www.garshol.priv.no >