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Subject: RE: [tm-pubsubj] mixed feelings

Title: RE: [tm-pubsubj] mixed feelings


I was delighted to find this your posting, finally.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bernard Vatant [mailto:bernard.vatant@mondeca.com]
> Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2002 2:13 PM
> To: tm-pubsubj
> Subject: [tm-pubsubj] mixed feelings

>I've got mixed feelings those days about our TC work.

me too. I did not contribute for some time, thou I read everything.

> We've got lately lively and interesting debates about
> paradigmatic, generic, genetic or
> distributed PSIs ... but that does not make our practical
> work move forward an inch I'm
> afraid. A month has passed since Seattle meeting, and we have
> still that bunch of issues
> posted in the current Deliverable 1 version, and not a heap
> of proposals to address those
> issues so far.

exactly. Most of the discussion seemed to be rather philosophical to me - interesting - but not focussed on the standardization issues we want to promote.

> [...]
> I wonder if we've not been far too deep into the details of
> the "what and how" without
> having a real agreement on "why and what for".

I think "what and how" is exactly what our focus is in PubSubj TC. May be rather "how" than "what".

> ... disagreement on
> objectives between
> (1) those who consider PSIs essentially as necessary
> logistics for interoperability and
> wide-scale support for topic maps technology - letting the
> use of PSIs outside TM universe
> as a secondary and minor objective.

As we are TM folks, this should be our primary perspective.
> (2) those who consider topic maps like maybe the reference
> early users, but only one among
> many technologies that could use PSIs.

Using URLs as unique identifiers has not been invented by PSI. Any community may handle this in a specific context.
Any community may use any PSI-URL as a unique identifier, even ignoring any topic instance that may be accessed via this URL. 

On the other hand, we may use any non-topic, but intentionally published, persistent URL in the role of a PSI. Why not?

> [...]
> "Bernard asked the committee to consider whether Published
> Subjects should be created with
> other applications in mind or be solely dedicated to Topic
> Maps. After some discussion, it
> was determined that the focus should be the creation of
> Published Subjects for Topic Maps,
> and let initiative to other groups for other applications."

"let initiative to other groups for other applications." - Very wise statement.
> But at this meeting, only 5 of the 11 current TC members were present.

I was not present, I was not even a member at that time. Today I am a "prospective member", and full member of TC GeoLang.

> So, questions:
> 1. Have our objectives been defined clearly enough?

The objectives so far: Yes!
> 2. If yes, are we going the right way so far, or are we misled?

Sometimes we get lost in the almost unlimited scope of TM discussion - there are so many open threads pending. But these threads are not forgotten by those who have followed discussion for a longer time.

Like in any open (and unmoderated) mailing list, the list gets irritated (if not confused), when several new faces join in at the same time, not having these open threads in mind, and spreading out their own mental environment - may it be a worthy conribution or not. (Well, just like I did myself, when I entered the list). Sometimes this is very refreshing, but the list must not start with Adam&Eve again and again. Any new partner should be aware of the existing objectives and contribute to these objectives, or discuss these objectives (well, and *know* these objectives ...). This is not a coffee shop.

> 3. Do we have to reconsider the objectives, in the light of
> recent debates, or do we stick
> to the initial ones?

Stick, re-explain, and continue, IMHO.


Thomas Bandholtz
XML Network
Competence Center Content Management

Kaltenbornweg 3
D50679 Köln / Cologne
+49 221 8299 264

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