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tm-pubsubj message

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Subject: RE: [tm-pubsubj] Range of Application


> I have a question about the range of applicability of that deliverable.
> It is noted in the Scope and Purpose Statement of that document that:
> > The first and main target of this recommendation is therefore topic
> > maps interoperability, through efficient definition and identification
> > of subjects represented by topics in topic maps.
> >
> > This initial target is likely to be extended in the future to a wide
> > range of applications ...

> In terms of definitions, while we may favor topic maps by using familiar
> terms (to people in the topic map community), is there any reason to
> think such definitions will not be equally applicable to any other
> application or technology?

We have indeed all reasons to extend the scope, and I've been in favor of
that since the beginning. Deliverable 1 makes it pretty clear that the
fundamental notions of "subject" and "topic", even if the terminology is
borrowed from topic maps, have a very general range of application,
encompassing all technologies "dealing with subjects through formal
representations using symbols as proxies".

Deliverable 1 is just mentioning some of those, like RDF. My guess is that
Deliverable 2 could more explicitly deliver an indicative list of such
major technologies, pointing at what type of proxies those technologies
use, what type of subjects they represent by those proxies, like the kind
of following table.

Technology		Symbol Proxies				Types of subjects

Topic Maps		Topic						Any
RDF			Resource - URI				Any
Thesaurus		Descriptor					Concept
Taxonomy		Class						Taxons
Ontology		Class, Instance, Property		Classes, Individuals and Relations
Library		Subject Heading				Categories of documents
Catalog		Catalog Number				Individuals (Products, Galaxies)

> What I am thinking is that the definitions should be as generic to the
> general concept of PSIs as possible so as to allow for future
> deliverables to address the needs to topic maps and other technologies
> (or the development of deliverables by other communities for their own
> purposes).

As generic as possible, but declined in the various above terminologies.

> Not a major point but one that I would prefer to have clear at
> the outset.

Not a minor point either, in terms of outreach.


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