September 16th, 2003
The next meeting of the XML Special Interest Group will be Tuesday, 16 September, 7-9 p.m., hosted by Goldman Sachs at 180 Maiden Lane, 31st Floor.
The speaker will be Sam Hunting, presenting his perspective on the latest developments in Topic Maps. One point which Sam emphasizes is the formal rigor that compliance with ISO 13250 introduces to topic map implementations. Questions of such formally demonstrable capability seem to be recently more numerous and insistent, as, e. g. the XML-DEV thread late last month on whether XML vocabularies are at an advantage or disadvantage versus the apparent formal rigor of the relational model. Sam writes:
The latest on Topic Maps: Hard thinking, actual clients, new and better tools
The talk is a tour d'horizon of current topic map technologies:
- Theory as mathematical model
- Practice at the USGS
- New free tools
Theory of topic maps will present--for the first time--a set-theoretic mathematical formalism for topic maps, developed by Neill Kipp with Steve Newcomb and Sam Hunting. This work is important from a technical perspective, since such a formalism can ensure that developers of topic map standards and implementations are "all on the same page" with respect the meaning of the text of ISO 13250. From a marketing perspective, the work means that, for the first time, topic mappers can claim formal rigor with the same force that proponents of the relational model can.
Practice of topic maps will present--again, for the first time--the prototype of the topic map system developed for the United States Geological Survey by eTopicality, Inc. The USGS has requirements that can be met only by an implementation of the topic map paradigm: A federated system that permits free navigation between multiple, overlapping taxonomies. The implementation to be presented is the first step toward this goal: It is a topic map that implements a "subject catalog" for USGS holdings on coastal and marine geology data that allows entries into the catalog to be edited, all using open source software and an ordinary browser.
New tools for topic maps will showcase--again, for the first time--the newest release from the GooseWorks project, tmtk-0.8. This open source toolkit permits people to create Topic Map Applications (TMAs) using a simple XML DTD. The Standard Application Model developed by TopicMaps.Org ("XTM") is one such application, but others may be necessary to serve client needs. XTM, for example, permits addressing only by URI, but other forms of addressing may be required: Library of Congress subject headings, astronomical coordinates, latitude and longitude, etc.
Sam Hunting is the president of eTopicality, Inc., a consultancy whose service offerings include topic maps, content analysis, and taxonomy and DTD development. He was a founding member of TopicMaps.Org, which developed the XML Topic Maps (XTM) specification. He is a co-author of the XTM 1.0 DTD. He is the technical editor of _XML Topic Maps: Creating and Maintaining Topic Maps for the Web_, from Addison-Wesley. He is a co-founder of the GooseWorks project for creating open source topic map tools (http:/www.gooseworks.org). He has been working with markup technology for over 10 years. (http://www.etopicality.com)
To reserve a place at this meeting, or to subscribe to the email list for announcement of future meetings, please send a request by email direct to Walter Perry. You will receive a confirmation by return email. Security requires that those attending this meeting be registered at least a day in advance so that their names are available to check against attendance at the door. Please register before Monday, 15 September, to insure that you will be admitted.