[sc34wg3] Almost arbitrary markup in resourceData

Mason, James David (MXM) sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Mon, 17 Nov 2003 14:30:17 -0500

I have a further comment on the resourceData issue.

resourceData is a construct in XTM. So far as what has been approved by the
ISO/IEC process is concerned, XTM is not synonymous with Topic Maps. We have
made XTM a part of the standard, and much of our current work in WG3 seems
to be focussed on XTM. But it is not at present the totality of the
expression of TMs. In the discussion of resourceData and similar elements,
we chould not be concentrating on whether we're going to "break" XTM but
rather on what we need to do to XTM to make it fulfill the overall intention
of the standard into which we have injected it.

For my own part, I find XTM useful, and I create most of my TMs using it.
However, I also find it constraining and inhibiting. I believe there are
other things that I should be able to do with TMs, and I'd like to see XTM
support those.

I've now had 22 years in this business. I've heard all sorts of arguments on
all sides of the "stability of standards". One of the goals of
standards-making is, of course, to provide a stable basis for information
representation and data interchange. However, stability of standards
themselves should not be a sacred cow that prevents improvement and
enhancement. (Remember, rigidity in the supposed support of stability is one
of the reasons XML was done in the W3C and not in SC34.)

Jim Mason
James David Mason, Ph.D.

Y-12 National Security Complex
Bldg. 9113, M.S. 8208
P.O. Box 2009
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-8208 U.S.A.
+1 865 574 6973

Chairman, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34