Announce: Topic Map Standard out for Final Committee Draft Ballot

W. Eliot Kimber eliot at
Sat Nov 14 16:28:41 GMT 1998

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

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.  214.953.0004

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