[sc34wg3] Analysis of TMRM Use Cases

Steven R. Newcomb sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
10 Apr 2004 11:46:36 -0400

"Steve Pepper" <pepper@ontopia.net> writes:

> Thanks to Patrick Durusau and Steve Newcomb for submitting
> N490 (Topic Maps -- Reference Model Use Cases).

> Having studied N490 it seems to me that the purpose of the RM,
> as the editors envision it, can be summed up as follows:
>    To enable the documentation of the specific merging
>    rules that are required to be applied by a particular
>    Topic Maps application [1]

The purpose is to establish a systematic nomenclature for disclosing
how a "territory of subjects" is reflected in a topic map.

It's true that subject-oriented processing (which may be any
subject-oriented transformation, including merging) must be informed
by notions of how the topic map reflects its subjects, whether those
notions are disclosed or not.  But it would be misleading to say that
the purpose of the TMRM is to document merging rules, even though we
certainly expect it to be used for that purpose.  It would be
misleading in the same way that it would be misleading to say that the
purpose of quantum mechanics is to show us how to manufacture
transistors.  Manufacturing transistors is certainly one of the
purposes to which knowledge of quantum mechanics can be put, but it is
not the only such purpose.

> I believe that this objective can be satisfied by the TMDM
> in combination with TMQL (or by the TMDM in combination with
> TMCL, which in turn uses TMQL). If that is the case, then I do
> not believe that N490 provides sufficient justification for
> developing and standardizing a completely separate reference
> model.
> Of course, that does not mean that there cannot be a real
> justification for the TMRM; it simply means that the rationale
> still hasn't been well enough explained and/or understood.
> Because we felt that it might not be immediately apparent
> to everyone involved how TMQL relates to merging rules, Lars
> Marius and I have written an analysis of N490 showing exactly
> how TMQL could be used to satisfy the requirements thrown up
> by the use cases. That document is now available as N497 at
>   http://www.jtc1sc34.org/repository/0497.htm

Based on N0497, I'm sorry to say you both missed the point of N0490,
and of the Topic Maps Reference Model (TMRM) itself.  However, the
good news is that Patrick and I found your work on N0497 very helpful
to our understanding of your difficulty in understanding the purpose
and scope of the TMRM.  Armed with this new understanding, we have
crafted a response to N0497 that we hope and believe will help you
gain an accurate understanding of the TMRM:


-- Steve

Steven R. Newcomb, Consultant

Coolheads Consulting

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