Topic Maps discussion at XML '99
04:38, 8 Dec 1999 UTC | Simon St.Laurent

Within a week after ISO adopted Topic Maps as a standard, though before its actual publication, participants in an XML '99 Nocturne session were discussing ways to bring Topic Maps to XML and the Web.

Topic Maps provide descriptions of information separate from the information itself. The standard provides a structured set of tools including topics, subjects, associations, and descriptions. Topic Maps create navigable indices for document sets, and permit the easy creation of multiple views of the same information.

In a preliminary discussion led by Diane Kennedy of IDEAlliance and two of the co-editors of the ISO spec, Michel Biezunski of Infoloom and Steve Newcomb of TechnoTeacher, participants discussed the potential for bringing the SGML-based standard to XML and providing support for XLink.

While a number of obstacles, from political and intellectual property issues involving different standards organizations (IDEAlliance, OASIS, ISO, W3C) to the stability level of the current XLink draft, were discussed, the 20+ participants seemed united on the value of bringing Topic Maps to XML and potentially to the World Wide Web.

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