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From "Conal Tuohy" <Conal.Tu...@vuw.ac.nz>
Subject RE: [RT] Improved navigation of learning objects
Date Tue, 14 Oct 2003 22:36:04 GMT
Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:

> >> I agree that there must be some kind of automatism going 
> on, but the
> >> topic creation is a human task and programs would do a
> >> terrible job at
> >> doing this.
> >
> > The example I gave assumed precisely that a human editor 
> had written a
> > namespace topic; the harvester was simply linking a document (which
> > mentioned that namespace) to that existing topic. So this 
> is automatic
> > creation of associations or links, rather than topics.
> 
> yes, but this is simply spreading the issue of topic creation 
> all over 
> the place, you are not making it any easier (IMHO)

I don't follow you. It seems to me that harvesting can make it easier. See below:

> > But topics can also be safely created automatically in some cases: 
> > where
> > good structured metadata exists we can confidently base 
> topics on it. 
> > e.g.
> > topics can usefully be automatically harvested from Java 
> classes that
> > implement particular interfaces (generators, transformers, etc).
> 
> True, but again, I don't see the point. I'm sure that if we make the 
> editing interface to our doc system people will find it much 
> easier to 
> just make a list of components and update them as we go (expecially 
> since they are not so many).

I respectfully disagree. 

For example: there are many sitemap components that are not adequately documented. The same
is true of xml namespaces used in Cocoon. Which ones are undocumented? Well, who knows? It's
not easy to see because they're not documented! :-)

If we could "harvest" a topic from the java source of the component, then the lack of documentation
for a given component or ns would be immediately obvious, in the form of a topic without any
useful content: a blank page saying "write something here". A slightly similar phenomenon
exists on the Wiki, where you can reify a topic as a Wiki page just by referring to it in
another page. 

Cheers

Con

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