[sc34wg3] Supporting variants in TMCL

Are Gulbrandsen a.d.gulbrandsen at usit.uio.no
Mon Nov 2 07:40:49 EST 2009


Steve Pepper 30. okt. 2009:
> Are Naito-san and I really the only two users of non-SAE languages  
> [2] that care
> about variant names? Are they not widely used in Korea and China,  
> for example,
> as well as Japan? What about topic maps in Cyrillic, Arabic,  
> Devanagari, etc.
> etc.?

For some more input into this discussion, I can recommend reading Xuân  
Baldaufs paper for TMRA 2009, "Modeling Names", which I had the chance  
of reviewing:

The paper is not yet published on the TMRA website, but I'm sure Xuân  
wouldn't mind that interested people got to read it before the  
conference. (Cc to Xuân)

In the acknowledgement he writes:

Thanks go to the MOTOMU NAITO who raised the issue that there is a  
multitude of renderings of the very same Japanese name (14). This  
paper is based on and inspired by a mailing list thread which was  
effectively started by LARS HEUER suggesting that nobody would need  
variant items (15).

14 See http://www.infoloom.com/pipermail/topicmapmail/2009q2/007486.html
15 See http://www.infoloom.com/pipermail/topicmapmail/2009q2/007482.html

Steve Pepper 2. nov. 2009:

> * Lars Marius Garshol
> |
> | So far there doesn't seem to be much enthusiasm for supporting  
> variant
> | names in TMCL.
> That might be symptomatic of a more general apathy. Or of the fact  
> that most
> users of Topic Maps do not (yet) have the same needs as Naito-san.*
> | The biggest problem with adding support is that variant
> | names have no type, and so it is difficult to see how to express the
> | matching part of the constraint. In all other constraints we use
> | tmcl:constrain-statement or something similar, but that doesn't work
> | for variants.
> I hope you excuse me if I say that I don't find this argument  
> particularly
> compelling. Surely if a language cannot meet a legitimate  
> requirement, then
> there is a problem with the language, not with the requirement?
> Unfortunately I don't understand the inner workings of TMCL well  
> enough to be
> able to propose a solution. But are you sure you are not trying to  
> create
> something more general than is really needed? Would it help if I  
> were to
> formulate a constraint in English that I believe would do the job:
>  NAMES of type "foo" belonging to
>   TOPICS of type "bar" can or must have (one or more)
>    VARIANTS in the scope "baz"
> In other words, we need to be able to constrain every variant  
> statement on the
> basis, not of its type, but of what type of name it is a variant of  
> (and what
> type of topic that name belongs to).
> Naito-san: Would that satisfy your requirements?
> Steve
> * In the old days this committee used to bend over backwards to  
> accommodate
> everyone with a valid use case - even if they were in a minority.
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> sc34wg3 at isotopicmaps.org
> http://www.isotopicmaps.org/mailman/listinfo/sc34wg3

Best Regards,
Are D. Gulbrandsen
The XML-group,
Center for Information Technology Services
University of Oslo

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