Avoiding mistakes: was Re: [sc34wg3] DM conformance

Lars Marius Garshol sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
23 Nov 2003 16:52:12 +0100

* Patrick Durusau
| If the DM is not going to claim any conformance, then why the loose
| language on interpretation? 

Which lose language? And what is the connection?

| Simply having the various other specifications say they are
| following the data model answers my concerns.  I don't think they
| would falsely claim conformance to the DM and that settles the
| question of conformance, without having the DM make noise about
| conformance that it has no intention of claiming.

Exactly. Except that the first sentence quoted above ("Simply
having...") seems to contradict the rest of the paragraph.

I'm having huge difficulties working out what the hell it is you are
trying to say here...

| Why burden the DM with interpretation or conformance questions at
| all?

You're asking me! I don't want that, but you seem to. If you are happy
to leave the whole mess out then we agree and can move on.
| Doesn't having the other specs say they are following the DM get you
| all that one could reasonably expect?

No. I don't think that gets us anything except verbiage that achieves
nothing. It's not asserting conformance that is useful, but actual
conformance, and I don't think the notion of conformance of
specifications to one another within a related family makes any sense.

Consistency I think is the word we are looking for here, not
conformance.  We want to have DM, XTM, CXTM, TMQL, and TMCL be
consistent, but the only way we can achieve that is by trying our
best. Adding a statement to the effect that we succeeded will not make
us succeed.

Like you I believe we *will* succeed, but why bother saying so?
| What more do you want the DM to stand for other than being something
| other specs claim to follow?

Formally, I want to be an editorial device used by other
specifications to make it explicit what they mean, and only that. I
don't really see what other role it can play.

In practice I'd like it to be the definition of what topic maps are,
but we can't achieve that with the specifications themselves, really,
that's more of a political/mindshare issue.

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