Topic Map Standard out for Final Committee Draft Ballot

From Sat Nov 14 10:41:00 1998
Date:     Sat, 14 Nov 1998 10:28:47 -0600
From:     "W. Eliot Kimber" <>
Subject:  Topic Map Standard out for Final Committee Draft Ballot

The Topic Navigation Map (Topic Map) standard, ISO/IEC 13250, is out for ballot to become a final committee draft, the last stage before becoming a full standard. You can find the draft being balloted at <>. This ballot lasts until the end of February. However, in order to progress the standard as quickly as possible, we'd like to get comments to the editors before the end of the year.

The Topic Map standard is similar to RDF in some ways (but has an essentially different focus and intended domain of application). It is also designed to be implementable using Xlink. It defines a relatively simple (but still powerful) approach to representing rich relationships among information objects.

If you are working with Xlink, especially extended links, or thinking about how you might use them productively, I urge you to take a look at the standard. I have started putting together some examples, both to test the standard and to use in my Xlink class. I will be posting these as soon as possible, hopefully within the week.

NOTE: some of the prose in the standard is currently a bit dense and abstract. The U.S., France, and Norway have developed comments against the current draft that should help to make things much clearer (we hope). If you're trying to read the standard and not getting it, send me mail and I'll see what I can do to help. The editors are already working on fixing these problems, but they can't be made officially visible at this time because of process constraints.

We all think that topic maps could be a really interesting application of Xlink. They are, I think, relevant to some of the work that Peter Murry-Rust has been doing on developing online glossaries and the like.



<Address HyTime=bibloc>
W. Eliot Kimber, Senior Consulting SGML Engineer
ISOGEN International Corp.
2200 N. Lamar St., Suite 230, Dallas, TX 75202
Tel: 214.953.0004

[Note: See also a collection of articles on Topic Navigation Maps from Michel Biezunski, and the local database entry, "Topic Navigation Maps."]

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