[sc34wg3] TR: comment - RDFTM: Survey of Interoperability Proposals

Robert Barta sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Fri, 11 Mar 2005 07:13:45 +1000

On Thu, Mar 10, 2005 at 10:23:36AM +0000, Murray Altheim wrote:
> >For TMQL, for example, the semantics is not only described in prose
> >(argh :-), but also - via several layers - in terms of that formal
> >model.

> I agree entirely with what you're saying, the only issue is that
> one must then assume that the people supplying you with the Topic
> Map documents also understand and are following the same model in
> their designs, which is a much bigger issue, one of agreement and
> intercommunication.

Right. But, as Lars pointed out, this market is covered properly
by TMDM. It is formal enough to be unambiguous and not so formal
that developers can understand it.

That model defined by TMDM looks a bit convoluted is not the fault of
the authors. It is and was the understanding of TMs at _THAT_ level. I
am grateful to the work of Patrick and Steve N. to narrow in a much
more fundamental model, which can be translated into model theory.

That there is not yet a written-down mapping between the two is mostly
my fault.

> ............................ When you retrofit, sometimes you end
> up with those little loose screws on the counter, and then wonder
> where they came from. I can just say I'm glad I'm not the one
> doing *that* analysis. What a headache.

Well, I think we will have those left-over screws. :-) But they are
probably unavoidable, unless you can leave a technology entirely to
the academics, give them 5 years to sort out everything. This is,
what I like about TMs, there are companies behind it.

> ........................................................... There
> may be *many* such models for RDF and Topic Maps, and indeed, my
> point is that if we're going to be mapping Topic Map documents to
> FOL, we should probably be mapping them via Common Logic, which is
> being written by people like Pat Hayes, John Sowa and Chris Welty,
> all some of our more public experts in applications of FOL.

I would be VERY interested to try that. I will discuss this with
Gernot Salzer (cc'ed), although...

> I wish I had the time to build a CL-based inferencing engine that
> could import XTM, .......

...XTM (or a topic map itself) is for me a passive thing.  More
interesting than the structure is what you can do with it:
constraining, querying, modifying. This is what the logic must