[sc34wg3] Analysis of TMRM Use Cases

Kal Ahmed sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Tue, 13 Apr 2004 12:34:36 +0100

Jan Algermissen wrote:

>Kal Ahmed wrote:
>>Your entire explanation presupposes that Topic Maps == RM. I don't buy
>>that - I never, even with a close reading of  ISO 13250 or XTM 1.0 saw
>>*anything* remotely like the RM in it. So as far as I am concerned RM !=
>>Topic Maps.
>ISO 13250 and XTM 1.0 define syntaxes and since Topic Maps appearently go
>beyond being a set of syntaxes (or an architectural form) an abstract
>information struture had to be developed. The proposed TMDM is *one* 
>interpretation of these syntaxes and the RM provides a different one.
>What is the reason that makes you think that the abstract data structure
>proposed by the TMDM is in fact Topic Maps and that the abstract structure
>of the RM is not?
It is the nature of the definitions in ISO 13250:2000 and ISO 13250:2002 
(which define topic characteristics to include occurrences and names as 
well as roles played in associations, for example); along with the 
(admittedly non-normative) model diagrams in XTM 1.0 Annex B. The very 
notion of SIDPs are not contained in these documents in any explicit 
text. The very notion of declartive merging rules is not contained in 
these documents. Indeed, these documents explicitly define merging rules!

>I claim that there is equally well nothing in ISO 13250 and XTM 1.0 that
>justifies to say that Topic Maps == TMDM as there is to say that
>Topic Maps == RM.
I doubt that you can prove that claim to the satisfaction of all, just 
as I doubt that I can refute it to the satisfaction of all.

However, the question that we must really focus on is the one which 
Steve raised and which Martin raised in a different form - what is the 
impact on the user (and developer) community in using the RM as the 
definition of topic maps ?

>IMHO, this is the issue that underlies the whole discussion and I would
>really like to see some reasoning that justifies that the proposed TMDM
>is the one and only correct abstract information structure that can be
>derived from ISO 13250 and XTM 1.0.
Well, can you claim this for the RM ? If not then the question is moot. 
To repeat myself again (in yet another way), the issue about there being 
"one true model" is far less important to me than the fact that the RM 
model is *so* far removed from my mental model of topic maps (and the 
mental model of many others). The right for the RM to exist is not in 
question, its just whether it is appropriate for the RM to define ISO 
13250 Topic Maps.