A proposal has been submitted to OASIS for the creation of a new technical committee on 'Published Subjects for Geography and Languages'. The Technical Committee will define sets of published subjects "for language, country, and region subjects, in accordance with the guidelines for published subjects to be laid down by the OASIS Published Subjects TC. Languages, countries, and regions are subjects that occur frequently across a wide range of topic maps. In order to promote maximum reusability, interchangeability and mergeability, standardised sets of published subjects are required to cover these domains. Two such PSI sets (for country and language) were published as part of the XML Topic Map 1.0 Specification; the task of this TC will be to update and extend those PSI sets using existing code sets defined by recognised standards bodies such as the ISO and the UN." Published subjects will be created for languages according to ISO 639 and USMARC codes; published subjects for countries and regions will be based upon ISO 3166; PSI sets for countries, regions, and geographic areas will also be created for USMARC codes; another set of published subjects for regions will be based up on the UNSD Standard Country or Area Codes. Published subjects are a form of controlled vocabulary allowing "unambiguous indication of the identity of a subject"; they are defined in the ISO 13250 Topic Maps standard and further refined in the XML Topic Maps (XTM) 1.0 Specification.
The TC on Published Subjects for Geography and Languages does not propose to create mappings between the new PSI sets, "except to the extent that such mappings are already defined in the code sources. In general, any assertions made about the subjects published by this TC, including names and mappings, will be restricted to those made in the code sources."
"A published subject is any subject for which a subject indicator has been made available for public use and is accessible online via a URI. [A subject indicator is a resource that is intended by the topic map author to provide a positive, unambiguous indication of the identity of a subject]... The general intention behind published subjects is that topic maps interoperability needs non-ambiguous definition of subjects (reified by topics), that should be provided by trustable publishers, in resources available through stable URIs. Those addressable resources, called 'subject definition resources' will provide human-understandable and non-ambiguous definition of subjects, whereas their URIs will provide stable identifiers fit for computer processing, topic maps interoperability and merging, and many other foreseeable semantic applications... Since subject identity forms the basis for merging topic maps and interchanging semantics, authors are encouraged to always indicate the subject identity of their topics in the most robust manner possible, in particular through the use of standardized ontologies expressed as published subject indicators... [approximation, from the XTM specs 2001/2002]"
- Announcement 2002-01-21: "OASIS TC Call For Participation: Published Subjects for Geography and Languages"
- GeoLang TC web page
- GeoLang TC mailing list archive
- OASIS Topic Maps Published Subjects Technical Committee. See also the mailing list archives.
- Requirements for Documentation of Published Subjects. Final draft.
- Related: "XTM Uses Scope For Languages [XML Topic Maps]. By Steven R. Newcomb.
- "(XML) Topic Maps" - Main reference page.
- "Language Identifiers in the Markup Context" - Main reference page.