[sc34wg3] Removing added scope from <mergeMap>

M.Altheim sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Mon, 16 Jan 2006 15:17:11 -0000

Graham Moore writes:
> =20
> I dont think that Lars Marius and I disagree with the value=20
> of being able to
> attribute accountability or Scope when merging topic maps.=20
> The decision for removing it from the syntax was two fold:
> 1. we really were aiming for an interchange syntax and not
> an authoring syntax and to this end were looking to remove
> constructs that 'did stuff'. We wanted to remove mergemap
> altogether.

Both Jim and I have already answered this issue -- mergemap
is not solely an authoring feature, it is very much a=20
distribution feature, a necessary one for modular Topic Maps.
And in my experience, nonmodular Topic Maps would be pretty
> 2. In general we wanted all processing and semantics to be=20
> external of the representation syntax, i.e. Applications or
> external declaration language.
> We were thinking about a family of syntaxes where interchange=20
> was strickly representation.

That's an impossible distinction. Interchange is never strictly
representational. Modularity requires the ability to request a
merge, and every instance of an internal reference being=20
traversed is "active" (no longer declarative). And all of these
are interpretable contextually, where the context alters=20
depending on both the place in the document lifecycle (which=20
itself is not necessarily linear) and the intended use of the
document (which varies as per the user).
> I want clean lines of distinction, modularisation, of the models and
> syntaxes in the ISO Topic Maps family of standards. MergeMap is not
> something I dont want, it is something that doesn't belong in the
> representation syntax.

You won't get those clean lines in any model of any representation
language I know of, and removing necessary functionality from
Topic Maps doesn't seem to do anything except cripple them from
being useful at the expense of some notion of design elegance. I
could give a rat's patootie about design elegance if the damned
thing doesn't work.=20


Murray Altheim                          http://www.altheim.com/murray/
Strategic Services Development Manager
The Open University Library and Learning Resources Centre
The Open University, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK7 6AA, UK               .

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