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Subject: Re: [tm-pubsubj-comment] Fwd : On "prohibition" of XTM and URNs

Bernard Vatant wrote:

> Murray Altheim wrote:
>>... not my place to complain really (since I've removed myself
>>from the TC) but I don't like the direction the TC is taking away
>>from using XTM. While XHTML may be suitable as documentation for
>>a PSI set, if RDF is considered so, then certainly XTM could be.
> XTM is not ruled out completely, it is only in the first deliverable.
> The argument for that is two-fold, given that the first deliverable is to be made as
> simple as possible.
> 1. Political/Technical : Make very clear that Published Subjects 

> are not tied to Topic Maps and XTM
> 2. Pedagogical: XTM example is not easy to grab at first sight.

For #1, I think that simply providing statements to that effect, and
examples in various syntaxes as appropriate, will make that point
stronger than *not* providing a first deliverable that includes XTM,
which after all is at least the arena of the early adopters, without
which PSIs will perhaps be ignored.

As for #2, my god, RDF is so *not* easy to grab that I can't
imagine non-W3C people considering it for publishing PSI sets.
RDF has not caught precisely because of its obtuse and confusing
syntax. Publishing a set of PSIs as topics can be *extremely* easy:

   <topicMap xmlns="http://www.topicmaps.org/xtm/1.0";
      <topic id="tnode"/>
      <topic id="anode"/>
      <topic id="snode"/>
      <topic id="lnode"/>

My *actual* PSI set for TouchGraph graphs, used internally within
Ceryle though still web-publishable (including URNs as subject
identifiers) is thus:

   <topicMap xmlns="http://www.topicmaps.org/xtm/1.0";
      <topic id="tnode">
           <subjectIndicatorRef xlink:href="urn:ceryle:graph:tnode"/>
      <topic id="anode">
           <subjectIndicatorRef xlink:href="urn:ceryle:graph:tnode"/>
      <topic id="snode">
           <subjectIndicatorRef xlink:href="urn:ceryle:graph:tnode"/>
      <topic id="lnode">
           <subjectIndicatorRef xlink:href="urn:ceryle:graph:tnode"/>

One can add links to documentation, etc. but the act of publishing
the XHTML documentation is not what's at issue. The above topic map
would *do* from a processing standpoint. Try that in RDF. It'll be
more complicated, harder to grok. You might all consider GXL as well,
given that it's even simpler graph syntax than XTM. I like GXL, and
it's maturing quite well. If there was a GXL way of doing the above,
it'd be interesting, but my topic map engine reads XTM, not GXL or
RDF (or XHTML for that matter*).

Consider the communities who potentially might publish PSI sets:
medicine, real estate, publishing, biology, law, etc. None of them
likely to have much care for arcane syntaxes. KISS here.

> I think we'll keep XTM metadata example in the second deliverable.
> Maybe we should say so in the first deliverable.

Well, I'll likely be developing my own then, unless the second
deliverable arrives quite soon. I'm not sure what priorities
are in front of providing a means for the topic map community
to publish PSIs. If this is not the first priority, I can
understand that there are Higher Goals, but unless I'm mistaken
those will be hampered by the continuing mucking about by the
W3C regarding the definitions of URIs. You could avoid all that
by simply avoiding the issues of URIs and simply creating a
means of publishing PSIs in XTM.

I realize I have a completely different set of priorities than
some, but if the topic map community doesn't have PSI publishing
ability soon, there simply will never be the public sharing of
topic maps within a reasonable amount of time, and people may
move on to something else given no standards for participating.

I'd just like a PSI for "topic documentation." And a way to
publish topic maps that I can point to as PSI sources. Given
that my first crack at that (in the XTM 1.0 Specification)
doesn't seem to stand up to time, I'm waiting for the alternative.


[* from above] It occurs to me that the document I wrote some
time ago on publishing metadata in XHTML documents


might with a slight alteration be the way to publish PSI sets
in XHTML, such that a simple scraper could pull the actual PSI
definitions from the web page. You'd not need XTM or RDF or GXL
at all then... and those communities I mentioned could simul-
taneously publish the documentation *and* the PSIs in a machine-
processable way. I'd certainly add that component to Ceryle if
the syntax was standardized (ie., an "augmented-XHTML" to XTM

[issues about URNs]
> I think the TC position agrees basically with that. The 

> requirement #2 is that resolution is required, that's it.  

> Maybe the minutes wording is too compact and misleading. But the
> recommendation itself will hopefully be more explicit. I'll try 

> to make it so anyway :))

I'm glad to see this is the case. I use URNs internal to Ceryle,
and I'd hate to think I was breaking a rule there.

>>sorry to miss you all in Montreal... *sigh*
> We are all looking forward to seeing you back, I think - at

> least I am ;-)
> Bernard

heh. I probably am more trouble than I'm worth... hopefully what
I'll accomplish in the interim will be worth my (and KMi's) trouble.


Murray Altheim                  <http://kmi.open.ac.uk/people/murray/>
Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK7 6AA, UK

      If it wants to be a global power and a player in the
      Atlantic alliance, Europe has to get back into the
      business of making war. -- Newsweek Magazine, June 3, 2002

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