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RE: Linkbases, Topic Maps,and RDF Knowledge Bases -- help meunderstand, please

> Given the fragmentation of the XTM effort into TopicMaps.net and
> TopicMaps.org (not to mention whatever ISO is doing), is there good reason
> to believe that the various conceptions of XTM will interoperate?
> What's the
> "executive summary" for why a real-world company would want to wade into
> that mess *if* RDF+XLink can cover the same territory?

There is no contradiction between topicmaps.net and topicmaps.org.
is a site that aims at providing input for the topic map community, and in
particular contains
a document which is work in progress on a topic map processing model.

I don't think there are various conceptions of XTM. What is now being
discussed is the
way topic map information should be interpreted by applications. Should
applications be interoperable
at a strict syntactical level (including whitespace handling) or should
applications be able to figure out
how to derive topic map information after having processed the syntax. What
XTM is revealing is something
that happens also for other specifications (including XML): that the syntax
doesn't reflect completely the processes that are involved, in other words
that the syntax can't be considered an API for applications.

This is a problem which is more general than for topic maps, that needs to
be studied appropriately, at the
good level of abstraction. It needs to be discussed at length before all
aspects become well understood
by people who are involved in such developments. The fact that the problem
is particularly visible in topic
maps doesn't reduce its applicability value, but reveals something that need
to be solved and hopefully will serve in other domains as well. It's just
not as obvious as we first thought.

> I know that some of these are probably stupid
> questions/observations, but I
> think there are a lot of people just as confused about this stuff as I am,
> so any clarification will be appreciated.

If the level of confusion that you are describing maps to the awareness that
the problems we are trying to address are quite complex, we will have made
an important step forward.

Michel Biezunski, InfoLoom
Tel +33 1 44 59 84 29 Cell +33 6 03 99 25 29
Email: mb@infoloom.com  Web: www.infoloom.com