[tmql-wg] Every thing is a 'thing'

Robert Barta rho at bigpond.net.au
Fri Mar 9 17:52:57 EST 2007

On Fri, Mar 09, 2007 at 12:59:17PM +0100, Lars Marius Garshol wrote:
> * Robert Barta
> >
> >Right. Or we could take the viewpoint that
> >
> >  where
> >      $thing isa tm:topic
> >
> >gives all topics and
> The trouble with this one is that if we return the "drrho" topic here  
> we claim that you are a topic, but as far as I know you're actually  
> *not* part of any topic map, but rather a living, breathing person.  
> So that would be semantically wrong. :-/

You now completely derailed me :-)

Under tm:topic [ TMDM interpretation ] I understood


   symbol used within a topic map to represent one, and only one,
   subject, in order to allow statements to be made about the subject

So with

   where $thing isa tm:topic

I will never get a living, breathing person, but only 'symbols within
a topic map to...'. And in TMQL-land this is the topic item.

> The easiest type of question on earth is questions of the form
>   "Is X a 'subject' in the Topic Maps sense?"
> The answer is always the same: yes. (Just read the definition.)

> Values are subjects, you are a subject, the question of whether  
> values are subjects is a subject, the bottle of beer next to my  
> laptop is a subject, Topic Maps is a subject, ... "Any thing  
> whatsoever," right?

OK, if 'everything' in the universe is meant, then a query for it is
probably useless inside a TMQL query. I would hate it as a person if I
would be have to be passed through a Java interface. I do not like

Maybe ask the other way round: Do we have a term for 'all items in the
topic map'? Not necessarily including the data values, which are not
_items_ according to TMDM.

> >>>     ? Should all map items be an instance of tm:subject implicitly
> >>>       + tm:subject is a great placeholder
> >>>       - TMDM does not say it (or does it?)
> >>
> >>Whooops. Does this mean that you intend for it to be (2)?
> >
> >I'm just asking. If atomic values _are_ subjects, then it would be
> >(2), right? And if not, then probably (3), I guess.
> You mean the other way around, right?

Hehehe, it seems that we have to work on the semantic grounding of
Topic Maps :-)))

> Anyway, the question here isn't just what the semantics are, but also  
> what we *want*. And I think we want something that produces all  
> topics, period.

Yes we need something for

  - all items in the map                (tm:subject??? not sooo good)
  - all topics                          (tm:topic)
  - all assocs                          (tm:association)
  - all names                           (tm:name)
  - all occurrences                     (tm:occurrence)
  - maybe all 'names+occurrences'       (?????)
  - something else?

Have to break here and will come back to the rest later.


> >The question is what should
> >
> >  (a)    select $x    where       $x isa tm:subject
> I think I prefer (1), which was "all topics", on the grounds that
>  - "isa" is an association, and associations only apply to topics,
>  - the set of all topics is what we want, anyway.
> >  (b)    select $x    where       $x iko tm:subject
> This is the subclasses of tm:subject, right? In that case it should  
> be all topic types. (Although it *could* be all types.)
> >I think we shortly touched this one in Leipzig, but I am unsure
> >whether this was followed up by anyone:
> >
> >  - is an association a specialization of subject?
> Yes. (Association is a type, therefore it is a subtype of the  
> universal type, which is subject.)
> >  - is a topic a specialization of subject?
> Ditto.
> >  - is an occurrence (and a name) a specialization of association?
> That's spelled out in TMDM. (And the answer is yes.)
> >Things like these. So something like an "Ur-Ontology" for TMDM. I
> >faintly remember that you had a blog entry in this direction but
> >cannot reproduce it now.
> >
> >But once this is written somewhere (TMDM, TMRM, TMQL), then we would
> >have a commitment.
> This is the stuff I'm meant to put into the TMDM -> TMRM mapping.
> --Lars M.
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