[sc34wg3] Strawman draft of ISO 13250-1
Thu, 06 Nov 2003 15:31:24 +0900
I think you misunderstood the context of the first part I wrote and I think
we agree :)
I put back in what you took out.
>>This draft of ISO 13250-1 has been produced as a strawman in order
>>facilitate a decision by the Working Group on what form this Part should
>>take. The original proposal for a Part 1 was motivated by the perceived
>>need for an introduction to the fundamental concepts of Topic Maps that
>>could be read in isolation from the definition of the Data Model (which
>>is the subject of Part 2).
>> >> We are working on the *restatement* of ISO 13250. I remember
>> discussing (possibly in Balimore) that we should begin with ISO 13250,
>> update that, and make it part 1 plus including an introduction to the
>> parts -- DM, XTM syntax, CTM and RM and how they work together. This is
>> what I expected the draft to look like.
>> However, we really do need the normative definitions in the data model.
>> At a minimum for part 1, I think we would need an informative
description of what Topic Maps are and something like N323 "Guide to Topic
>> I guess if the parts can be published separately, it would seem that
we would need the definitions in both places (yuck) but, don't we want in
the end to have a coherent and complete document with parts and without
>> I have already expressed this some months ago, but I would like all of
the normative content to be in the data model.
>As I indicated in a post to Lars, I don't hold the ISO format up as a
>model of explanation but I also don't think that a standard is the place
>for an introduction to the "fundamental concepts." At least not in the
>sense that Pepper has proposed for Part 1.
>Perhaps it may simply be a divergence in what we consider to be the proper
>"scope" of a standard but to me a standard sets forth what is being
>standardized with a great deal of rigor and either in annexes or other
>publications does the introduction to "fundamental concepts." The purpose,
>to me at any rate, of the standard is to communicate with a great deal of
>precision what is being standardized.
I think we agree Patrick.
>> >> However, we really do need the normative definitions in the data model.
>> >> At a minimum for part 1, I think we would need an informative
>> description of what Topic Maps are and something like N323 "Guide to
>> Topic Map standards."
>> >> I guess if the parts can be published separately, it would seem
>>that we would need the definitions in both places (yuck) but, don't we
>>want in the end to have a coherent and complete document with parts and
>>without unnecessary repetition?
>> >> I have already expressed this some months ago, but I would like all
>> of the normative content to be in the data model.
>Hardly possible for all the "normative content" to be in the data model is
OK, I meant *normative definitions* and normative content for the data
itself. Here, I am only comparing parts 1 and 2. Of course, parts 3 and 4
(Syntaxes will have their own normative sections.)
>We already have separate parts on a constraint and query language, which I
>have been assuming would be normative as well, at least for the parts they
Of course, but we are talking about the project 13250, and I only said
*normative definitions* for ISO 13250. The constraint and query languages
are related, but separate content.
>>While there cannot be any doubt that the Data Model needs to be at the
>>heart of the standard, it should also be recognized that most of the
>>readers of 13250 will not be implementors. Those people need a clear
>>presentation of the concepts that is not intermixed with data modelling
>>concepts like item types and properties.
>> >> I also mentioned this before too, but there is a need for something
>> like Tim Bray's notes on the W3C XML 1.0 Recommendation. OK, I read
>> Tim's notes first and then I was able to take a crack at the standard.
>> So, how many people did read that one, and, was it necessary? Probably
>> not. There were others around like Tim Bray to explain it later.
>> >> Tim's notes were not part of the standard though. I think that this
>> is important to discuss, since we need to examine what we are producing
>> as standards, and we need to do a kind of comparative *benchmarking* so
>> to speak.
>Like your example of Tim Bray's notes and take your point that it was not
>part of the standard proper.
Good, glad we agree on this.
>>The problem that has to be solved is how to reconcile these two needs
>>without introducing redundancy. This draft is an attempt on the part of
>>the editors of Part 1 to show what the solution might look like. It was
>>deliberately written without reference to the current draft of Part 2, in
>>order to be able to assess the validity of the approach originally
>>envisaged. (It was also left incomplete in order not to spend unnecessary
>>There is now a large amount of overlap between Parts 1 and 2, but this
>>was to be expected. The questions we wished to raise, and hope to have
>>answered at the Philadelphia meeting of WG3, are the following:Is there,
>>in fact, a need for a formal, normative presentation of the fundamental
>>concepts of Topic Maps, presented in isolation from the definition of the
>>*Mary -- No there is no need.
Good to hear.
>>Is it possible, by carefully moving some pieces of text that describe
>>fundamental concepts from Part 2 to Part 1 (e.g. 5.5.1 and 5.5.2), to
>>avoid unnecessary redundancy?
>>No, I don't go for this, because it would weaken the content of the DM
>>and the normative defintions are necessary there.
>>An implementor should not need to read through part 1 to get the
>>definitions in order to understand what the terminology means in part 2.
>>Is there a need for an annex containing an informal tutorial, along the
>>lines of that in the XTM specification?
>>Yes, there is a need, but whether it should be in the standard is debatable.
>I would favor having it elsewhere. There are other publication mechanisms
>within ISO, technical reports for example, that bear the imprimatur of the
>committee but are not "standards."
I agree. It could be published as a technical note.
>>A decision not to include a separate presentation of the fundamental
>>concepts will call the need for a separate Part 1 into question.
>>Part 1 could then be a description of all of the other parts -- a map of
>>where to go for the normative information. This part 1 could include the
>>informative annex -- a tutorial if it is seen as necessary.
>I think Mary's description of part one as being a description of all the
>other parts is closer to what I would think is the proper content for part
>1. I would put the tutorial as an annex to the entire restatement.
I am not sure how that would be published though. It seems that the annex
would need to be appended to one of the parts. It would then look like a
Technical note, maybe? It could also be a normative annex to part 3, the
XTM syntax, or published as a separate TN.
>Note that in partial reply to one of the questions Lars raises, I don't
>think such a tutorial could ever be "normative" in the ISO sense of the
>word. Topic maps are expressive enough that any tutorial would be
>illustrative and not normative in terms of using topic maps. The normative
>parts of the standard should set forth ALL the rules relevant for each
>part and be entirely self-contained. As Mary notes above, implementors
>should not have to hunt to additional normative portions elsewhere in the
>A definite negative on having definitions in two places. Not that I doubt
>that successful copy-n-paste is possible, but defintions are read in
>the context in which they occur and being defined in one place eliminates
>one possible source of divergent interpretation.
>>The minutes of the Montreal meeting of WG3 recommended the editors to
>>follow the model of ISO 8879, which includes a tutorial in Annex A. We
>>wish to point out that this model is only partly relevant, since the
>>annex in question actually contains a reprint of a rather old paper
>>describing the general principles of generic markup, rather than a
>>tutorial based on the standard. For the purpose of this strawman, we have
>>simply copied the Gentle Introduction from the XTM Specification. If a
>>decision is taken to include such a tutorial, we envisage a rewrite that
>>contains more syntax examples and is more in line with the concepts as
>>currently defined and understood by WG3.
>>Yes, we really do need this, but as I said, do we need it in the
>>standard? If we do have it, then it can only be an informative annex. I
>>think that eveyone agrees with this.
>>It could be an annex of part 1, or I could even see it as an annex to
>>part 3 Syntax specification. Then Part 1 would only be the guide to the
>I think Part 1 as a guide to the standard makes the most sense in terms of
>In in his original post Pepper notes that the standard will not only be
>read by implementors but even assuming that is the case, I think our first
>duty is to provide a clear and rigorous statement of the standard and
>then, as Mary notes is necessary, provide further explanation either in an
>annex or altogether separate material.
>If for no other reason, consider that focusing on developing the standard
>leaves the aftermarket open for tutorials and publications that make the
>clear, but difficult prose of the standard understandable. ;-)
Yes, exactly what I was thinking.