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From Conal Tuohy <>
Subject RE: Related Documents, MapTransformer and Topic Maps
Date Wed, 01 Oct 2003 20:58:05 GMT
Rogier Peters wrote:


> Googleing xml and relations quickly brought me another subject that I
> haven't seen discussed much here - XML topic maps. On of the big
> advantages of topic maps over my simple mapping is the amount of
> semantics that topic maps allow. Topic maps allow one thing to be
> related to another, and also describe what the one thing is, what the
> other thing is, and what kind of relation they have. 
> So the next step would be to implement a topic map 
> transformer. There is
> a apache-license topic map project at
> I'm definitely going to 
> look into
> it myself, but need to do some reading first, and I would like to
> discuss it. By the way, if you don't like topic maps, I would like to
> know too - I wasn't able to find any criticism on the matter 
> (googleing
> 'why topic maps are bad' or 'topic maps suck' didn't help)

I've done some experimental work with Topic Maps in Cocoon - using XSLT to
harvest TMs from other data sources, merge them, and then to render them as
web pages with "related links". See for example for a TM-based view of some of our
website that shows some of these relations but virtually no actual content
(warning: it's very slow).

I think the technology holds a lot of promise, and could be particulaly
useful in things like Forrest, but we will need some extra components before
they will be readily used in Cocoon, particularly a
TopicMapMergeTransformer, and some kind of TM-oriented templating
transformer for rendering. I haven't had a chance yet to deal with it, but
it's on my list of things to do :-)

By the way, did you realise that the tm4j project actually already includes
some Cocoon components?



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