[sc34wg3] Problem with wildcards

Lars Heuer heuer at semagia.com
Wed Mar 4 12:03:21 EST 2009

Hi Robert,

>> Yep, but the item identifier <geo.ctm#$__1.capital> screams for
>> trouble. If we have a CTM source which is used by many topic maps,
>> like the normative TMCL constraints source, all generated topics will
>> carry the same item identifier in all topic maps which include the
>> that source.

> Which simply tells me that that TMCL constraints source (or whatever)
> should NOT be _included_, but _mergemapped_.

That would not solve the problem since the templates are invisible for
the master file. And if we'd change the mergemap directive that the
templates are visible for the master file, we have the problem, that
topics would not merge; c.f.
the result at the bottom.

So, mergemap is no solution if topics with the same identifier should
merge and we want the templates. Mergemap may be a solution, if we
abandon the feature that topics with the same identifier should be

>> ............. And if you merge topic maps which have included that
>> common source you'll get ugly side effects, like the one from Lars
>> Marius' example where "Oslo" and "Stockholm" merge even if it was not
>> the intention of the author.

> Well, the author is the author is the author. Nothing to prevent
> stupid things to happen.

Yes, but imagine that we two buddies want to create a topic map about
a domain, like our CD collection. If we merge our topic maps it could
happen that my topic "So-Long-Marianne" would merge with your topic
"Brother-Louie" since we're using the same template "a-song($name)".
Neither Leonard Cohen, Dieter Bohlen, nor you and me would be amused.

> Or, are we crosstalking and the issue is that with _mergemap_ you do
> not get access to the templates within? And you want that? And with
> _include_ you get more (sideeffects) than you wanted?

The solution is to drop the automatically generated item identifiers
of the included file. If we drop the automatically generated item
identifiers our topics wouldn't merge. I don't want to change
mergemap, just the policy for including files with wildcards (?, ?foo
and [-"foo"]).

Best regards,

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