[sc34wg3] Almost arbitrary markup in resourceData

Lars Marius Garshol sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
11 Nov 2003 09:42:26 +0100

* Murray Altheim
| Well, you guys both probably know my feeling on this one. I'd prefer
| to simply keep all other markup out of XTM. We as a group made a
| decision on this design principle,

And now the group has changed its mind, but probably less so than you

| I've never found the argument pro this weighs against the argument
| con, which is that XTM is an interchange format, and you
| *completely* lose the interchange of an XTM document if you no
| longer know whether all processors are going to know what to do with
| "wild" markup. You have a loss of meaning and a loss of
| predictability.

What the standard will say very clearly is that XTM processors are
expected to take this additional markup and store it, without making
any attempt to interpret it in any way. It just goes into the data
model instance that is built, and is stored there. The only difference

  <resourceData>XTM is <em>really</em> cool.</resourceData>


  <resourceData><![CDATA[XTM is <em>really</em> cool.]]></resourceData>

will be that in the first case the processor will *know* that it's
dealing with XTM, and thus can support transformations of it at
publishing time, queries on it, and so on. 

That's it, really. It's meant to be a more convenient way to work with
XML content in topic maps, by not forcing people to put one-line XML
markup snippets into external files.
| In my opinion, it's clear not okay, and not cool. The first time
| somebody opens up that topic map and sees *nothing* it's not
| cool. And which version(s) of XHTML are you going to allow? There's
| about five right now.  There will be more, many more. Or can people
| put *anything* there?

The answer is indeed *anything*, but none of it will have any topic
map semantics.
| I don't buy for a minute the typical W3C argument that you can just
| ignore markup you don't understand.

XTM processors are not supposed to ignore this; they are supposed to
store it without modifying or interpreting it.

| That's a proprietary hole in XTM, where vendors will be able to
| "legally" put proprietary markup that other users will have to play
| catch-up to correctly process.

It was the users that pushed for this, not the vendors.
| I think the whole thing smells. That's been my opinion of mixed
| namespace markup since about 1998, so I suppose there's no surprise.

Well, I agree with you, but we're not allow mixed namespace markup in
the usual sense. We're allowing XML content in base names, variant
names, and occurrences. That's *not* the same thing.

| But this in the full knowledge that suddenly there's more than one
| XML interchange markup language for topic maps, which simply can't
| be a good thing for our community, our vendors, our potential
| customers.

We *really* don't want that, but it's not what we are creating,

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