[sc34wg3] Topic maps by another name

M.Altheim sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Tue, 13 Dec 2005 16:58:31 -0000

Patrick Durusau writes:
> Greetings!
> Curious if anyone else has looked at the charter for the Rule=20
> Interchange Format Working Group at the W3C?
> Section 1.1 Usage Senarios reads remarkably like topic map use cases.
> I am not sure why they want to re-invent topic maps but it certainly=20
> looks like the what has been chartered.
> Hmmm, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. ;-)
> Comments?


To me, rule description languages operate at a level higher than
Topic Maps' XTM syntax, higher than RDF syntax, higher than any
TM or RDF schema language, and are up in the clouds of KR models
where things like KIF live. To that effect, Topic Maps could=20
provide a graph foundation for them, and a great basis upon which
to build interchanges, certainly better than anything based in=20
RDF in that respect. I don't see that we've yet built up the=20
edifice of the Topic Maps tool belt to be able to express the
kinds of rules that KIF or the W3C RIF charter suggests.

I'd say the closest overlap would be with the project mentioned=20
earlier today, Common Logic, i.e., whatever the Rule Interchange=20
Format ends up being, it should be based at its core on Common=20
Logic in order to be connected at its abstract modelling level=20
with formal logic (otherwise it's just another floating language=20
among many). To that effect, it does sound like they're reinventing
a wheel, but more likely KIF (or CLIF in its new ISO guise) rather
than Topic Maps. There still would be the big questions of identity
and context to be worked out, but I'm sure they'll have that solved
by lunchtime.


Murray Altheim                          http://www.altheim.com/murray/
Strategic & Service Development=20
The Open University Library
Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK7 6AA, UK

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