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RE: [topicmapmail] RDF and TopicMaps: an Exercise in Convergence

From: Ron Daniel <rdaniel@interwoven.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 17:57:42 -0700
To: "Murray Altheim" <altheim@eng.sun.com>, "Lars Marius Garshol" <larsga@garshol.priv.no>
Cc: <topicmapmail@infoloom.com>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EMEKICCGFEKJFGKMFLEPCEJACLAA.rdaniel@interwoven.com>
Murray said:
[on the subject of defining a mapping from XTM to RDF]

> And I'm still unclear what we'd accomplish by this. XTM syntax is 
> very well suited to its designed task, IMO.

Murray's note suggested something to me. There are a couple of very
different styles of mapping from XTM to RDF that could be defined.
One is a syntax to syntax conversion. The other is to define how
XTM syntax can be harvested for RDF statements. This seems more
important than the former. A similar 'harvesting' was proposed for
extracting RDF statements from XLinks.
See http://www.w3.org/TR/xlink2rdf/  

But then Murray went on to say:

> But I don't put the technological cart
> before the horse (as some seem to) and assume that I need a specific
> technology before I figure out what problem I'm trying to solve. It
> might pay to back up a bit and write a requirements document.

Indeed. So here is one requirement - RDF metadata specifications
need to be able to refer to concepts defined in TopicMap files.
For example, we might have a Topic Map of subject classification
codes, and want to use those as the value of a Dublin Core
'subject' property in an RDF-compliant metadata spec. This is
a simple matter - each Topic needs to have a URI.

Similarly, if the maintenance agency for a controlled vocabulary
has decided to represent it in RDF-compliant XML, Topic Maps need
to be able to use such subject codes (presumably as Topics, but
you tell me).

Third - assume the RDF metadata spec indicates that X is a subject
code for a text. We need to be able to determine that Y is also
a subject code, if Y is a 'Broader Term' for X (using XTM's version
of 'Broader Term'). One practical test of this is to load an RDF
database with info about a lot of files, then query it to list the
files matching subject 'Y'.

Are those the sorts of things you are looking for, Murray?

Ron Daniel Jr.
Standards Architect
Tel: +1 415 778 3113
Fax: +1 415 778 3131
Email: rdaniel@interwoven.com 

Visit www.interwoven.com
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Received on Monday, 4 June 2001 20:59:19 UTC

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