[tmql-wg] Proposed new requirement: Ability to produce textual output

Chris Angus Chris.Angus@kalido.com
Tue, 1 Jul 2003 18:01:20 +0100

* Chris Angus
| Why not specify an abstract model for output, with XML and templated
| raw text as two specific physical output forms specified as part of
| TMQL.  Other physical output forms based on the abstract model MAY
| be specified as separate extensions.  The SHALL requirement would be
| to produce output in one or more of the conformant forms
| (i.e. conformant to the abstract model).

* Lars
| This sounds like an interesting approach, but I'm when I try to think
| of how it might work in practice my mind pretty much draws a blank. Do
| you have any ideas about how this might work, or did you just mean to
| propose this general approach? If you, or anyone else, has ideas on
| this I think it would be very interesting to hear them.


My main intent was to propose it as a general approach, but I do have
some ideas.  I made the suggestion without having read the requirements
document for some time, but on re-reading N249 one see the vestiges of
the approach already.  See, for example, 3.3.2 which talks about
extending the TM common data model in order to be able to represent
query results.  It clearly recognises that not all query results will be
topic map, but will also include objects from topic maps, resources,
strings, etc.

A significant part of the abstract model for output would equate,
therefore, to that model.  In addition, I think that there is a need for
an abstract model (which might just be a further extension) which
provides a mechanism for driving the process of establishing the
required physical output from the data that is the result of the query
(and which is an instance of the output model).  In essence an instance
of this latter extension would provide the necessary information to
generate the required physical output from the query results, whether
the required output was an XTM, some other form of XML document, or some
other form.

I hope that doesn't sound too opaque.  I would also suggest that having
a good abstract model for the query results would make substantial sense
even if the generation of different forms of output had not reared its
head.  It makes it that much easier to specify the abstract query

Chris Angus
Product Architect
Kalido Ltd
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