[sc34wg3] fundamental types

Patrick Durusau sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Wed, 19 Nov 2003 08:31:50 -0500


Bothered by the definition of fundamental types in the data model:

*****3.7 fundamental types******
the types of values that are so basic that they have no topic 
map-defined semantics independent the context they
appear in
*****/3.7 fundamental types*****

(This language also appears at "4.2 The fundamental types" so if changed 
here needs to be changed there as well.)

What caught my eye initially was the phrase: "independent of the context 
they appear in" which struck me as odd, considering that the fundamental 
types are string, set and null. (see 4.2 The fundamental types)

Then I thought, oh, it means that these value types never change, that 
is a string is always a string, wherever it appears, etc.

Well, then why do I need the explanation that it has "no topic 
map-defined semantics"?

For that matter, what is gained by gathering these three value types up 
into a class of some sort?


Move the terms string, set and null out of 4.2 (where they are mixed 
with equality tests) into the glossary.

Then, rename 4.2 to: Equality of Strings, Sets and Null

and leave the second paragraph for each term that is presently in place.

I think these are common enough to not need any defense as "fundamental" 
value types and simply defining them without further explanation is 
quite sufficient.

A couple of related questions on the citation of Unicode in the 
defintion of string.

First, Unicode 4.0 is out so perhaps we need to change that in "2 
Normative References" to: "The Unicode Consortium. The Unicode Standard, 
Version 4.0.0, defined by: The Unicode Standard, Version 4.0 (Boston, 
MA, Addison-Wesley, 2003. ISBN 0-321-18578-1" (odd I know but that is 
the citation form given at: http://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode4.0.0/)

Second question: The technical report for normalization (#15) is cited 
in Unicode 4.0.0 but does not actually appear in the volume. Should we 
make some more specific reference to the report itself?

Note that the Unicode Standard will continue to evolve so would it be 
better to simply point to the Unicode website?

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!