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RE: [xml-dev] "XML is just syntax" versus "Use semantic markup" ( Is this a paradox?)

I don't think there is a single "base map" either, Steve.  The analogy of a
geo-physical map may be stretching.   A base map is the fundamental "on
which primary data and interpretations can be plotted".  It is the map
required for locating any features on that map.   There may be others but
having one makes it possible to share locations reliably even if the
interpretation of some resource at that location is disputable.

In this metaphor, my guess is it is the lattice itself, but you'd have to
ask John about that.  After changing jobs, I did not re-subscribe to Sowa's
mail list.  I miss conversations with the man and his following.  They were
always illuminating.  I'm not surprised at how many conversations I read
these days that start out with 'First we must situate this x before we move
on.  For the sake of this conversation, do we agree this set of terms can be
mapped to this context' and off they go.

One of the good changes wrought in markup is general acceptance that there
can be multiple schemas per document/instance, although the chasm at the
slash may not be well understood (instance presumes class; document/message


From: Steve Newcomb [mailto:srn@coolheads.com] 

I think we're not understanding each other, Len.  I guess I 
didn't understand your note.

Maybe you're talking about a community's process of 
authoring a map, thinking that there has to be a starting 
point for such a process: a "base map".  I wasn't talking 
about that; my mistake.

I was talking about the importance of making the information 
of a given community (or individual) accessible to other 
communities and individuals, in terms that are different 
from the terms of the originating community.  I meant to say 
that, although despair about this possibility seems popular, 
it is not really warranted.  True, such accessibility 
requires the commitment of *human* effort, and such efforts 
are not nearly as cheap as Google's machine cycles, but 
there's no technical reason why the fruits of such efforts 
can't be easily re-used and re-exploited indefinitely, nor 
why technology can't be used to make such re-exploitation 
much cheaper than re-developing equivalent information in 
different terms would be.  (Note: not dirt cheap, and not 
100% automatic, but much cheaper, anyway.)  Even without 
cheap re-usability, the returns on mapping investments can 
be reasonable and attractive, as librarians and indexers 
have been demonstrating for many years.

Still, I think my comment is at least a little bit relevant, 
because of the problem of coming up with a base map in the 
first place.  It could be advantageous to start with 
somebody else's map.
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