[sc34wg3] Analysis of TMRM Use Cases

Robert Barta sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Mon, 12 Apr 2004 10:33:14 +1000

On Wed, Apr 07, 2004 at 03:32:24PM +0200, Steve Pepper wrote:
> 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]
> 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.

Steve P.,

Yes. And no.

Yes, I would also agree that ontological reasoning (a nice buzzword
for using a bit of formalized language mechanics) can solve (and I
mean _solve_) some of the concerns which are expressed in these use

Still - having chewed again through the TMRM - I would think there is
a strong need for - what I would rather call - "generic TM model". In
that model we would not have "basenames" and "occurrences" but only
associations (with a reification concept). And I mean ONLY
associations. Everything else could be derived as a second-level

TMDM (or whatever its name is now) would then be a particular
"instantiation" in this generic model, exactly as Steve N., Jan,
et.al.  have envisioned (thx to Jan for explaining this to me a while

> 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.

I think the fact that they were trying to achieve something with
__only__ a data model should not mislead us to believe that the idea
itself is not worth pursuing.

To make an analogy (well...): TMRM could be the TM quantum theory:
useless by itself except that it outlines the basic rules of the
universe.  TMDM is then electricity & magnetism, one application of
the rules.