[sc34wg3] Documenting merging rules in TMDM .. and unmerging too

Michel Biezunski sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
22 Mar 2004 11:15:07 -0500


On Fri, 2004-03-19 at 10:38, Lars Marius Garshol wrote: 
> I didn't read Bernard's proposal this way, nor am I clear on which
> levels it is you are referring to.

I was referring to the distinction Bernard makes between declarative
semantics (subject identification) and operations (merging, mapping,

> | The difference between the declarative parts and the operational
> | parts is at the heart of both SGML and XML and that is I think why
> | this family of standards have been so successful. If we could
> | succeed in doing something similar for the semantic part, wouldn't
> | that be great?
> To be honest I have no idea what it is you are referring to, so I
> can't really answer that.

I am referring to the fact that Topic Maps is supposed to be
an information standard helping information owners to describe
what their information is about (subjects) and how various pieces of
information are connected together (typing, associations, occurrences,
scopes, etc.)

The purpose of the standard as I see it is to declare what
the information is, and leave the possibilities wide open
for any kind of processing to be performed. This is similar to
SGML and XML which don't say what you should do with the information,
but simply what the information is so that it can be used.

If we are able to make this distinction work for topic maps,
I think we are heading for the long term. This means that the
standard should be kept independent from any processing techniques
applied on the pieces of information. For example, the constraint
and query languages don't necessarily need to be present for
an application to present itself as topic maps. Same thing as
not requesting XSL or XQuery to be present to claim for XML compliance.
That's the kind of things I am referring to.

Let me know if this is clearer.


Michel Biezunski
Coolheads Consulting
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