OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index]
Re: [xml-dev] Topic Maps - current state of the art?


In addition to Ken, I might add that there's a slew of things that
makes Topics Maps ... hmm, a bit tricky to grok properly. Topic Maps
is, at the core, a data model, and then there's a meta meta model
(reference model), an XML serialisation spec (XTM), a query language
(TMQL) and a few other bits and bobs.

I've been doing Topic Maps for almost 15 years now, and I know it will
never get the attention again that it once had. The reason is of
course that, IMHO, it looks so damn good that people don't believe it
can be true. :) Then there's the history of tools (lack of simple
ones) and people (taking certain paths towards advocating it) in its
advocacy, plus the odd focus on XML because XML was hot, but done
through XTM 1.0 which is a painful to use XML format (which later has
been refined into something a lot more sensible). I'd say its heyday
was around 2005, and it's been around but in decline ever since.

The reason for the decline is not that the data model or the
technologies that support it doesn't do what it promises; it most
certainly is damn great stuff, and I submit that it solves some of the
bigger problems in software development! But, it's complicated. It
requires a lot of thinking. It needs good understanding of meta
concepts. You need to be able to abstract well. You need to grok
ontologies and their middleware implications. And it requires a bit of
scaffolding, and so simplistic demos are hard to come by.

Even now, if I'm not using Topic Maps technologies directly *, I
always use Topic Maps thinking and meta models for everything that I
do. It offers a flexibility and power that isn't obvious until you
need it some time later down the line. It seems to always save the day
for me.

Kind regards,


(although, strictly speaking, I just recently released xSiteable 3.0,
an open-source CMS / Intranet / DMS that uses a Topic Maps data model
at the core of everything, and I can tell you some pretty funky war
stories of deploying new versions of applications to new servers that,
because of that model, just works [TM] after a simple copy. No
normalisation of databases needed, just a highly optimised core model,
where I personally think the pro's faaaaaar outweighs to con's..

On Sun, Oct 20, 2013 at 12:05 PM,  <gkholman@cranesoftwrights.com> wrote:
> At 2013-10-20 11:14 +1100, Stephen Cameron wrote:
>> Topic Maps are something I have just discovered!
> They've been around since the SGML days.  A useful and powerful concept.
>> Is this because I've not been listening, or, are they something thats been
>> tried and found wanting? A second-hand book
>> <http://www.amazon.com/XML-Topic-Maps-Creating-Using/dp/0201749602/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382227843&sr=1-1&keywords=topic+maps>XML
>> Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web is available on
>> <http://amazon.com>amazon.com for $0.01. You cannot get cheaper, so this
>> might be an indication of the later.
> Ummmm ... I gather from its designer/implementer that information
> maintenance for the entire US nuclear arsenal is managed using Topic Maps:
> http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
> And I heard that the entire Norwegian public education curriculum was
> something else being managed using Topic Maps ... a search just now found a
> reference to that here:
> http://www.lornet.ca/portals/10/i2lor07_proceedings/monday/papers/1-1.pdf
>> Thanks for any insights you can offer.
> I think it is just a matter of the right technology for the right kind and
> scope of problem.  You could write a topic map to manage a book index, but
> it is a bit of overkill so I'm not sure anyone would do it.
> Disclaimer: I was on the committee and a member of the original XML Topic
> Maps effort.  Note that the role XML plays in Topic Maps is just as a
> serialization of the conceptual Topic Map that contains all of the
> relationships.
> I hope this helps.
> . . . . . . . . . . Ken
> --
> Public XSLT, XSL-FO, UBL & code list classes: Melbourne, AU May 2014 |
> Contact us for world-wide XML consulting and instructor-led training |
> Free 5-hour lecture: http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/links/udemy.htm |
> Crane Softwrights Ltd.            http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/x/ |
> G. Ken Holman                   mailto:gkholman@CraneSoftwrights.com |
> Google+ profile: https://plus.google.com/116832879756988317389/about |
> Legal business disclaimers:    http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/legal |
> _______________________________________________________________________
> XML-DEV is a publicly archived, unmoderated list hosted by OASIS
> to support XML implementation and development. To minimize
> spam in the archives, you must subscribe before posting.
> [Un]Subscribe/change address: http://www.oasis-open.org/mlmanage/
> Or unsubscribe: xml-dev-unsubscribe@lists.xml.org
> subscribe: xml-dev-subscribe@lists.xml.org
> List archive: http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/
> List Guidelines: http://www.oasis-open.org/maillists/guidelines.php

 Project Wrangler, SOA, Information Alchemist, UX, RESTafarian, Topic Maps
--- http://shelter.nu/blog/ ----------------------------------------------
------------------ http://www.google.com/profiles/alexander.johannesen ---

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index]

News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1993-2007 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS