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Re: comment - RDFTM: Survey of Interoperability Proposals

From: Lars Marius Garshol <larsga@ontopia.net>
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 23:26:02 +0100
To: public-swbp-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <m3oednnpxh.fsf@ontopia.net>


* Peter F. Patel-Schneider
| 
| First, however, a disclaimer: I am a long-time skeptic of the entire
| Topic Maps paradigm.  I have tried several times to determine
| whether there is something interesting in Topic Maps and each time I
| have been unsuccessful.  My skepticism colors many of these
| comments.

That's perfectly fair. 
 
| The first problem that I see with the document is that it doesn't
| define the two paradigms.  There are no references to any of the
| defining RDF documents.  There are several references that could be
| considered to be defining Topic Maps - however, these do not show up
| until very late in the text and thus cannot be considered to be a
| definition for the purposes of this document.

I can only agree with this. The survey should make clear what it means
by "RDF" and what it means by "topic maps", because, as you say, there
are multiple choices for both, and the choices actually affect the
interoperability issues and their solutions directly.
 
| The second problem is that many of the interoperability proposals
| predate the finalization of the RDF Semantics.  Their current
| applicability is thus very suspect.  The document needs to carefully
| consider this aspect of each proposal.

Frankly, I can't see that the introduction of the RDF Semantics
recommendation makes any difference at all. I'd be interested to know
why you think so, or if you can find an example of a statement made in
one of the proposals that has been invalidated by the RDF Semantics
recommendation.

| The third problem is that RDF and Topic Maps belong to different
| categories, at least so far as I can determine.  RDF is now a
| formally-specified logic with a model-theoretic semantics.  Topic
| Maps is not.  This difference matters, and needs to be taken into
| account in every discussion of the relationship between RDF and
| Topic Maps.  At best, there needs to be some way to determine that
| the interoperability proposals preserve logical equivalence on the
| RDF side.  

I think I agree with this.

| At worst, there is no point in doing any mappings, as RDF and Topic
| Maps are simply incomparable.

The determining factor for whether there is any point in doing
mappings is whether there is user demand for it. And such a demand
does exist.

| [For indications why this might be the case, consider that Topic Map
| merging as defined in http://www.isotopicmaps.org/sam/sam-model/ is
| claimed to not remove all redundant information in a topic map.  How
| then can it be determined whether a mapping is reasonable?  As well,
| the procedure defined therein does not terminate.]

This is currently being discussed in an email thread on the ISO
mailing list, so I am not replying to this here. If interested, see

<URL: http://isotopicmaps.org/pipermail/sc34wg3/2005-March/002591.html >
<URL: http://isotopicmaps.org/pipermail/sc34wg3/2005-March/002595.html >

-- 
Lars Marius Garshol, Ontopian         <URL: http://www.ontopia.net >
GSM: +47 98 21 55 50                  <URL: http://www.garshol.priv.no >
Received on Sunday, 13 March 2005 22:26:38 UTC

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