[sc34wg3] Part 4: Canonicalization

Kal Ahmed sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
24 Nov 2003 18:11:04 +0000

On Mon, 2003-11-24 at 08:17, Martin Bryan wrote:
> Kal
> > Thanks for your comments. My apologies for taking a while to get to
> > replying.
> No problem - we're all busy.
> Re your proposal
> > > 4.1
> > > In second para change "set to the element" by "a reference to the
> element"
> > >
> >
> > It is unclear, but I'm not sure that I like using the term "reference".
> > How about
> >
> > "The value of the [parent] property of an element information item must
> > always be the element or document information item of which the element
> > information item is a direct child."
> My problem with this is that it sounds as if the value of the property must
> be surround the element. I see this as [parent="<element>....</element>]. I
> used reference because what the property should contain is a pointer to the
> element, not the element itself.

Is that because of the phrase "element or document information item" ?
It should say "element information item or document information item",
the value is the element information item (or document information
item), not any serialised form of it.

> 4.9
> > The W3C XML Information Set Recommendation says:
> >
> > "The terms "information set" and "information item" are similar in
> > meaning to the generic terms "tree" and "node", as they are used in
> > computing. However, the former terms are used in this specification to
> > reduce possible confusion with other specific data models. Information
> > items do not map one-to-one with the nodes of the DOM or the "tree" and
> > "nodes" of the XPath data model."
> >
> > Does that make sense ? It does to me, but I want to be sure that it does
> > to other readers.
> It makes sense, but needs to be spelt out in the standard, rather than
> expect readers to know arcane aspects of a referenced standard.

Well, the XML Information Set Rec is a normative reference from the CXTM
Specification, so I'm a little wary of copying or reinterpreting what
the W3C have already said on this. I'm willing to take guidance on this
point though - is it a good idea to copy/restate what an normatively
referenced document says for clarity ? If so, is there a right place and
a wrong place to do this ?

> >
> > > 4.11
> > How about adding an initial subclause (after 4.1)
> >
> > A reference to a topic information item shall be the integer value of
> > the position of that topic information item in the canonically sorted
> > [topics] property value of the topic map information item. The integer
> > value of the position of the first topic information item in the sorted
> > list shall be 1. All integer values shall be encoded in the XML Infoset
> > as an unpadded, string representation of the integer using decimal
> > notation.
> Fine
> > And then change 4.11 item 2 to:
> >
> > 2. [normalized value] A reference to the topic information item that is
> > the value of the [type] property.
> >
> > Note that this relies on the reader understanding the clear distinction
> > between the word "reference" in the context of this specification and
> > any notion of "reference" in parts 2 or 3. If there is a better term to
> > use to make this absolutely clear, I am open to suggestions.
> Why not just say clearly:
> "2. [normalized value] The position of the topic information item that is
> the value of the [type] property within the sorted list of topics.

I just wanted to use the shorthand "A reference to the topic information
item" to avoid restating that it is the integer offset of the topic
information item in the sorted list and that the list index is 1-based.


Kal Ahmed, Techquila
Standards-based Information Management
e: kal@techquila.com
w: www.techquila.com
p: +44 7968 529531