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Subject: Deliverables: Conversation starter


Just a conversation starter on the topic of deliverables for the PubSubj 
TC. (Not a proposal, probably will disagree with myself if I think about 
any of the following very long.)

Seems to me that we need to get some deliverables, i.e., examples of how 
to do PSI out sooner rather than later.

Pepper remarked that one of my examples in an earlier post was 
"sub-optimal," which I agree with but I am not all together certain that 
we should wait until we have the ultimate PSI syntax and mechanisms 
before releasing deliverables from the PubSubj TC.

While my examples were "sub-optimal" even as HTML based PSIs, I think it 
is the case that PSIs that are published using topic maps will certainly 
have more capabilities than those that written as HTML pages. Same is 
the case for PSIs that use the OAI mechanism for storage will have 
advantages over static HTML PSIs.

What I see as potential deliverables from the PubSubj TC are:

1. HTML based PSIs (with notation as to their limitations)

2. OAI based PSIs

3. Topic Map based PSIs

I think Pepper has made as good a case as can be made for why PSI are 
important, but making the case is not enough. We need to empower people 
to start using PSIs.

It is arguably the case that PSIs constructed by ontology 
experts/consultants are going to be more useful both in terms of content 
and delivery systems than those written by sixth grade history classes. 
But, just like HTML 3.2 introduced millions to markup (talk about a 
sub-optimal markup language), an easy road to building and using PSIs 
will gain us more notice in the marketplace of ideas (and potentially in 
the marketplace where commerce occurs).

The case has been made for PSIs, I don't think we should keep our fans 
waiting while we work on the ultimate solution.

BTW, the idea of published subjects came up with a vendor recently at 
the SBL and I suspect they would be willing to devote the programming 
cycles to mine their databases for Bible related topics (names, 
personal, geographic, etc.) to produce PSIs for biblical studies. What 
they need is a syntax for expressing it. I am fairly sure I can find 
hosting for such a set of PSIs. ;-)

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Patrick Durusau
Director of Research and Development
Society of Biblical Literature
Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model

Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work!

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