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Subject: Comments on Controlled Values Proposal

Here are some initial thoughts/reactions to the proposal. In general I like
the proposal and think it could be really useful. This design starts to
overlap with the Topic Map standard in terms of providing a way to define
taxonomies or ontologies as systems of names, potentially with associated
definitional content. While I don't think that subject-defining maps should
*be* Topic Maps we should probably make it clear where there is a clear
alignment of semantics or a disjoint of semantics that could cause

- leaf vs. non-leaf subjectdefs

The current proposal doesn't make a syntactic distinction between leaf and
non-leaf subject definitions. I'm not sure it should but we might want to
think about how a subject definition's nature changes when it's a non-leaf
rather than a leaf.

- "qualified" key values for disambiguation

A given leaf value may be ambiguous with respect the total set of all leaf
subject definitions defined within a given map. We will likely need a
defined way to disambiguate references to specific leafs.

- subject identifiers for subjectDefs

Topic maps have the general notion of "subject identifiers", which are
universally unique names that serve to uniquely identify a given "subject"
within the set of all possible subjects. Within a topic map, two topics that
use the same subject identifier are, by definition, about the same subject
and can be blindly merged (in the sense of combining all the topic
properties to create a new, effective topic).

It would probably be useful to have the same ability for subject

- Ability to refer to a value path ,e.g., "os.linux.redhat" vs

This would be one possible way to handle references to ambiguous subjects.

- General mechanism of indicating that a map branch is not intended for
output rendition (this is the same issue as for the keyref proposal).



W. Eliot Kimber
Senior Solutions Architect
Really Strategies, Inc.
"Bringing Strategy, Content, and Technology Together"
Main: 610.631.6770

Sent using the Microsoft Entourage 2004 for Mac Test Drive.

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