[sc34wg3] Analysis of TMRM Use Cases

Kal Ahmed sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Tue, 13 Apr 2004 11:10:27 +0100

Jan Algermissen wrote:

>Personally, I really prefer to contribute to making Topic Maps as good and
>powerful as I am convinced they can be than limiting my thinking to a set
>of existing documents. Especially since these documents leave an immense room
>for interpretation of details anyway.
Thats good - its always good to be prepared to think outside the box, 
but are you improving topic maps or creating something beyond topic maps 
? I think its the latter - and I think our different view points are 
based on the different things that we think topic maps are.

>I also personally don't understand the need to nail down Topic Maps as fast
>as possible since usually successful technologies exist (and create revenue)
>long before a standard finally ties diverse implementations together (consider
>SQL and C as prominent examples). Actually, I think that the knowledge for
>creating good standards is missing before diverse people/groups have 
>practically extensively explored the technology to be standardised. 
Its too late to put a brake on the development of Topic Maps. The 
standard has been published - twice! That is not a reason for work on 
the RM to stop though - it should continue and could go on to become the 
next great thing since Topic Maps!

>Consider a software architecture department having just signed the final
>requirements for an implementation when suddenly a developer rushes into 
>the room: "Guys, I found that we can make the whole thing much, much better
>if we consider this and that...". Says the lead architect: "Sorry man, we've
>just signed the requirements, no way to listen to you."
Well, to stretch the analogy (possibly to breaking point), the 
requirements were established (I presume, I was not involved in ISO 
13250 in the first edition), the product was delivered (ISO 13250, 1st 
edition), the product was then refined twice (XTM 1.0, ISO 13250 2nd 
Edition). Now is your developer asking for a refinement of an existing 
product or actually asking for a new product altogether ?

I think that this comes down to an issue only of naming - and like all 
issues of naming, we will all fight long and hard over it and waste a 
lot of energy which could be better spent developing technologies on top 
of ISO 13250 and developing the next generation of knowledge/information 
management tools that may one day supplant ISO 13250. Thats sad, and I 
hope that we can eventually move past this and get on with the real 
(fun) work of developing useful technology.