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From Jeff Turner <>
Subject Re: Topic Maps for Forrest ? (was RE: Proposal: alternative for book.xml)
Date Wed, 20 Mar 2002 22:12:51 GMT

Hi Kal,

Topic Maps are undoubtedly cool. But how practical are they? Are there
any examples on the web of people making real use of TMs? Is there any
supporting infrastructure; ie, if we create an TM, is
there something that can render that as a hyperlinked site?

I'm happy to do some legwork constructing a TM for Jakarta or, if you could suggest how it can be used.


On Mon, Mar 18, 2002 at 05:33:36PM +0000, Kal Ahmed wrote:
> Hi,
> I am a relative newcomer to this forum - I've only lurked for a couple of 
> days. So this is just a tentative suggestion, but it seems to me that you 
> are dealing with some pretty complex issues which might be (partially if 
> not completely) addressed by the ISO Topic Maps standard [1] and its XML 
> incarnation XTM [2]. As well as being quite capable of representing content 
> organisation structures such as books/chapters/sections, topic maps can be 
> used to represent the relationship between concepts and can be used to 
> relate those concepts to the data occurrences which provide more 
> information about them. A good introduction to topic maps is Steve Pepper's 
> TAO of Topic Maps [3]. One important thing about topic maps is that they 
> are mergeable - so individual projects can define their own topic maps and 
> you can take those individual topic maps, merge them together and create a 
> topic map for the whole site.
> In practical terms, I am the lead developer of a project producing a topic 
> map processing engine, TM4J [4] which provides a Java API to parse, merge 
> and access topic map information. I am also separately developing an 
> integration with Velocity and there has been interest on the TM4J dev 
> mailing list in doing something similar with Cocoon. TM4J is open-source, 
> under the Apache license and makes use of a lot of Apache code, so if there 
> is an opportunity to give something back, I would be happy to do so!
> Cheers,
> Kal
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4] 

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