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   Re: transformations

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  • From: "Steven R. Newcomb" <srn@coolheads.com>
  • To: simonstl@simonstl.com
  • Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2000 15:14:25 -0600

[Simon St. Laurent:]

> I'm pondering the state of transformations in XML ...


> Lately I've been thinking about using RDF to map
> relationships among vocabularies, though mostly I've got
> some pictures rather than RDF documents....


> My favorite case is simple translation of element names,
> where markup needs to be presented to the user in his or
> her native language.  While many technologies are capable
> of doing this, making it work is pretty tricky when
> multiple languages are involved.  There's no unifying
> dictionary mechanism for querying 'is-a' relationships by
> language keys.  Instead, there are a lot of different ways
> to transform one element to another and preserve the
> content along the way.

Check out the topic maps paradigm (ISO/IEC 13250:2000).  The
big news about topic maps is that the XML Topic Maps (XTM)
1.0 Specification will be unveiled at XTM Special Interest
Day on December 4, just before XML 2000 in Washington D.C.
It offers features that could make topic maps just what
you're looking for as a unifying dictionary mechanism.  A
single topic can have multiple names, each characterized by
a "scope" that is a set of topics.  One popular use of such
scoping topics is to use natural languages, among other
things, as topics for differently scoping the various names
that one-and-the-same topic can have.

As discussed in the context of the XTM work
(xtm-wg@egroups.com -- a public list), there may soon be a
useful relationship between RDF and XTM topic maps.  This
happy possibility resulted, in part, from the "RDF vs. Topic
Maps" discussion at the Extreme Markup Languages Conference
in Montreal last August (this is a shameless plug for next
year's conference, also in Montreal in August; see
www.gca.org for details).  Anyway, I'm optimistic.


Steven R. Newcomb, Consultant

voice: +1 972 359 8160
fax:   +1 972 359 0270

405 Flagler Court
Allen, Texas 75013-2821 USA

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