[sc34wg3] 5.4.3 Topic Characteristics

Patrick Durusau sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Tue, 18 Nov 2003 08:42:40 -0500


Drafted a long rabbit trail down into the metaphysics that I said I 
wanted to avoid, but deleted in favor of the following:

> | Not meaning to get bogged down in the endless metaphysics that have
> | bedeviled us in the past. I see a difference in how topic
> | characteristics are handled in the TMDM from non-topic
> | characteristics.  It may very well be the case that for clarity,
> | efficency, processing requirements, etc., that the distinction is
> | necessary but we need to have a good reason for the distinction.
> The reason it's there is basically historical legacy. Graham and I are
> not convinced that we need the term "topic characteristics", and if
> that goes we could lose this whole discussion. With the term we have
> to offer some rationale for what separates the topic characteristics
> from the other properties.

OK, perhaps it is more fruitful to look at what the properties do in the 

5.4.6 Properties, at "Equality rule" specifies the following properties 
are the basis for merger (I have omitted the rules, other readers should 
look at 5.4.6 for the details):

[subject identifiers]
[subject locator]
[source locators]

OK, clear enough. None of the "topic characteristics" appear in this list.

In terms explanation, I don't think "topic characteristics" adds 
anything. On the other hand, "merging properties" seems to be an obvious 
way to distinguish the listed properties from the others.

Well, I said "topic characteristics" did not add anything, you do use it 
to your advantage in 5.4.4 Scope. Scope not applying to the properties I 
listed above and there is no harm in having a quick way to refer to 
properties that can have scope.

Perhaps rewording "topic characteristic" to mean a property of a topic 
that has scope? Simply avoiding all the subject vs. machinery language?

Hope you are having a great day!


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!