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   Draft Reference Model for Topic Maps

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The first draft of the ISO Reference Model for Topic
Maps (RM4TM) is now available at
http://www.isotopicmaps.org/rm4tm/.  It shows how to
regard any data content notation, database schema,
etc., as a topic map notation, so that its knowledge
content can be automatically and losslessly amalgamated
with all other kinds of knowledge content into a
comprehensive topic map that honors the Subject
Location Uniqueness Objective.

  *                                                 *
  *  The Subject Location Uniqueness Objective is   *
  *  to have one single subject per node, and for   *
  *  every participating subject to have one        *
  *  single node, even after any number of diverse  *
  *  topic maps have been merged together.          *
  *                                                 *

The draft RM4TM establishes something like an assembly
language for a "topic maps machine" that has only eight
instructions.  The development of a Syntax Processing
Model (as that term is defined by the RM4TM), such as a
Syntax Processing Model for the XTM syntax, is similar
to the design requirements for a compiler that outputs
code suitable for a RISC machine that has only eight
instructions -- the "Eight Forms of Connectedness"
described in the draft RM4TM.  Once the information
takes the form of a topic map graph, it is
automatically mergeable in such a way as to achieve the
Subject Location Uniqueness Objective.

I hope that everyone responsible for the Semantic Web,
.NET, public safety and emergency management,
government transparency and secrecy, etc. etc., will
sit up and take notice.  I know of no other standard or
recommendation, proposed or unproposed, to the general
problem of civilization-wide information aggregation,
that allows diverse knowledge to be aggregated
losslessly, while honoring the Subject Location
Uniqueness Objective.

Before dismissing this idea on the basis that "graphs
don't scale", first see what the RM4TM really is (it's
a set of definition requirements for Topic Maps
Applications), and then consider whether and how a
wide-area network of knowledge-serving peers can act
as a machine that supports eight instructions.

Steven R. Newcomb, Co-editor, ISO/IEC 13250 Topic Maps

Consultant, Coolheads Consulting

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

1527 Northaven Drive
Allen, Texas 75002-1648 USA


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