Public identifiers and topic maps

Rick Jellife ricko at
Sat Sep 26 05:51:32 BST 1998

Steven R. Newcomb ¼g¹D¡G

>  ,.. Several luminaries have
> now argued in this forum against the FPI-based methodology we have
> proposed in the Topic Navigation Map draft.  Now is the time to fix
> this.

This problem I also came up against when writing my book, because Ineeded to make
up a lot of FPIs for other people's info. In the end
I took it to ISO WG8, and they definitely decided that ISO 9070 was
correct and ISO 8879 was ambiguous: it was fixed for WebSGML.

> What's needed is a way to reference authoritative materials as a way
> of identifying "public topics".

Do we need a public text type of TOPIC? You could have something like this

Sears, Roebuck & Company:: 1922 Farm Catalog:: [catalog number] R204//EN//"

In other words: the owner uses IDN, a public text type TOPIC is
defined, ISO 9070 "::" syntax is used in the name, and the
display version uses (part of a) URL.  I wonder if 9070 should be upgraded
to allow full URLs in the display text field?

I have a different problem with FPIs or URNs for topic names:
I think it is important that I should be able to assign a topic, like
the farm catalog above, even if I cannot locate the canonical form,
and there should be a chance my systems will work.

In other words, I hope any FPI convention for TNM would  not
preclude using fuzzy matching on names: in fact, I tend to
think the owner name should be the last thing looked at for
matching topics (in many situations). Of course, some users
need exact matches only, but as the web search engines prove,
there is a lot of usefulness in searching.

Rick Jelliffe

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