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RE: Comments on "Survey of RDF/Topic Maps"

From: Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 13:19:17 +0200
To: "Steven R. Newcomb" <srn@coolheads.com>, <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>
Cc: <mb@infoloom.com>, <Patrick.Durusau@sbl-site.org>
Message-ID: <GOEIKOOAMJONEFCANOKCKEABFNAA.bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>


Steve, and all

I agree with most of your comments. Seems to me indeed that the RDFTM Task Force should
explicitly restrict its current charter to RDF-TMDM interoperability at the data level.
TMRM, as far as I understand it, adresses a level that is more fundamental than both RDF
and TMDM, identification of subjects and disclosure of identification protocols. Both RDF
and TMDM share more or less a common identification paradigm, based on URIs, which is
built-in in their data model, and that's why their specific interoperability is
interesting. But from the TMRM viewpoint - correct me if I am wrong - both RDF and TMDM
can be seen as specific Topic Map Applications, so the scope of RDFTM is basically
interoperability of two specific TMAs.

Interoperability of RDF and TMRM seems definitely out of scope because (as PFPS would
rightly point out) "they are incomparable". OTOH, relevancy of TMRM to the (Semantic) Web
is certainly to be searched at a much more fundamental level, dealing with the Web
infrastructure : URIs, identification protocols etc. that is, more in the scope of TAG
than SWBP.

Bernard

**********************************************************************************

Bernard Vatant
Senior Consultant
Knowledge Engineering
bernard.vatant@mondeca.com

"Making Sense of Content" :  http://www.mondeca.com
"Everything is a Subject" :  http://universimmedia.blogspot.com

**********************************************************************************

> -----Message d'origine-----
> De : public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org
> [mailto:public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org]De la part de Steven R. Newcomb
> Envoye : mercredi 30 mars 2005 00:17
> A : public-swbp-wg@w3.org
> Cc : mb@infoloom.com; Patrick.Durusau@sbl-site.org; srn@coolheads.com
> Objet : Comments on "Survey of RDF/Topic Maps"
>
>
>
> We applaud and support this work.  These comments are intended to be
> constructive and helpful.
>
> We're troubled by an inconsistency in the draft "Survey of RDF/Topic
> Maps Interoperability Proposals"
> (http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/BestPractices/RDFTM/survey).  This document
> describes the scope of the project as translation between Topic Maps
> and RDF in the general case, saying:
>
>   "The goal of this work is to provide guidelines for users who want
>   to combine usage of the W3C's RDF/OWL family of specifications and
>   the ISO's family of Topic Maps standards."
>
> The inconsistency is that the Survey document later says,
>
>   "To fully understand this survey, the reader must ... be familiar
>   with the models described in [TMDM] and [RDF-Concepts], and the
>   syntaxes described in [LTM] and [N3]."
>
> The trouble we're having with this may only be a matter of our own
> perceptions, but the latter statement seems to us to imply that the
> TMDM is the only thing about Topic Maps that is relevant to the
> question of translation between RDF and Topic Maps.  It even seems to
> imply that the TMDM reflects all there is to know about Topic Maps
> that might be relevant to the relationship between RDF and Topic Maps.
> Neither of those implications is correct.
>
> It is valid, useful, and important to recommend guidelines, to
> whatever extent may be possible, for translation between RDF and the
> TMDM, and we gather from the content of the draft Survey document that
> this narrower goal -- translation between RDF and TMDM -- is the
> actual agendum of this Working Group.  We draw this conclusion from
> the facts that:
>
> * there is nothing in the draft Survey document (except its much
>   broader statement of the scope of the work) that is inconsistent
>   with that more limited goal;
>
> * it's hard to understand how guidelines for translation can even be
>   expressed except as mappings between data models; and
>
> * the draft Survey document emphasizes its focus on translation at the
>   data level.
>
> If our conclusion is correct, we hereby suggest that it would be more
> accurate, and less confusing, to describe the scope of the work
> in terms of the TMDM, rather than in terms of "ISO's [whole] family of
> Topic Maps Standards".
>
> On the other hand, we may be drawing an incorrect conclusion from this
> early draft.  If the scope of the work is actually *intended* to
> include the Topic Maps paradigm in general, and therefore ISO's
> *whole* family of Topic Maps standards, we would urge the Working
> Group to consider the idea of comparing explicitly the basic
> differences between RDF and TMs, and of examining each data
> translation proposal in light of such an explicit comparison.  Such a
> comparison might be as valuable to people who have to perform such
> translations as would any set of guidelines presented in the absence
> of an explanation of the grounds on which those guidelines stand.
>
> The most fundamental existing expression of the Topic Maps is found in
> the draft Topic Maps Reference Model (TMRM), Part 5 of ISO 13250.
> While an obsolete draft of the TMRM is cited in the bibliography (the
> current draft is at http://www.isotopicmaps.org/TMRM/TMRM-latest.html)
> the TMRM is not mentioned anywhere else in the Survey document, and we
> suspect that it has not had much influence on the thinking that
> underlies the various proposals that are listed in it.  It's worth
> noting that the TMRM is the only expression of the Topic Maps paradigm
> at a level which is more fundamental than that of any ontological
> commitments, techniques for subject addressing, etc.
>
> So, in summary, we suggest that the WG consider either narrowing the
> stated scope so that it is explicitly limited to translations between
> RDF and the TMDM, or broadening the actual scope so that it matches
> the existing stated scope.  (Within either of the two scopes, this
> work will have significant value.)
>
>
> Steve Newcomb, Patrick Durusau, and Michel Biezunski
>
>
> Michel Biezunski
> Consultant, Infoloom
> Co-editor, Topic Maps International Standard (ISO 13250)
> mb@infoloom.com
>
> Patrick Durusau
> Director of Research and Development
> Society of Biblical Literature
> Patrick.Durusau@sbl-site.org
> Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
> Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model
> Patrick.Durusau@sbl-site.org
>
> Steven R. Newcomb
> Consultant, Coolheads Consulting
> Co-editor, Topic Maps International Standard (ISO 13250)
> srn@coolheads.com
>
>
>
Received on Wednesday, 30 March 2005 11:19:24 UTC

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