Larsblog - technology

A path language for Topic Maps

I sketched a little path-based query language for Topic Maps this summer, mostly to explore what such a language might look like. My TMQL co-editor, Rani Pinchuk, asked me to write up a more detailed description of it, and that's what this blog posting is. ...

Read | 2009-09-23 11:01 | 13 comment(s)

Datatype validation with TMCL

It's long been generally assumed that TMCL (the Topic Maps Constraint Language) should be able to validate datatyped values, but very little thought has so far been devoted to exactly how. It may look like a trivial issue, but in fact datatypes is an enormous tangle of complex problems. To pick one example at random, consider the ordering of time durations in XML Schema. This posting is an attempt to consider what TMCL should and, equally important, should not do. ...

Read | 2009-07-20 14:37 | 3 comment(s)

A Topic Maps file system

The idea of a Topic Maps file system is not new. Robert Barta presented one such at TMRA 2008, and Inge Henriksen is also working on one. However, I had my own take on this that I wanted to realize for several years. The starting point was the Mac screensaver which shows all photos from a given directory as a kind of slide show. I've set it to the root folder I store my photos in, but then it shows all photos, which is not always that pleasant when you're on a projector in a meeting, for example. ...

Read | 2009-06-03 16:25 | 5 comment(s)

My Twitterhood

I've been using Twitter for just about a year now (username: larsga), ever since Tim Bray wrote enough about it to make me curious about what it was. I've since come to enjoy it as a kind of mix between blogs and chat, and have developed a very mixed crowd of people that I follow. One day I started thinking about categorizing these people, and I started wondering what clusters of Twitterers I was really following. ...

Read | 2009-04-05 20:43 | 6 comment(s)

The Prague meeting

The ISO SC34 meeting in Prague was a big affair with five different working groups and many attendees. Working group 3 had a lower attendance than usual (for a number of reasons), and perhaps for that very reason had a highly productive three days focusing on TMCL. The status before the meeting was that we have a quite loose draft that shows in rough outline the intended functionality of the language and gives a good indication of the way it's intended to be specified. The task of the meeting was to process this to the point where the editors could write something quite close to the final specification. I'm happy to say I think that's what we did. ...

Read | 2009-04-02 10:50 | 0 comment(s)

TMShare the Second

Graham Moore and Marc Wilhelm Küster presented a new Topic Maps protocol called TMShare at TMRA 2008 this year. Many Topic Maps protocols have been presented already, mostly similar in conception, but TMShare is actually a completely new kind of protocol. Unlike earlier proposals it does not allow random access to topic maps on the server, but instead provides a feed of the changes to those topic maps. So essentially it provides a mechanism to replicate a topic map or part of one to another server. (I call this TMShare the Second because there was another TMShare protocol before this one.) ...

Read | 2008-11-08 15:45 | 1 comment(s)

The get-illustration web service

I'm working on a site that lists the various Topic Maps-related software that's out there, in an effort to make all the tools that have been released more visible. The site in question is, of course, Topic Maps-driven, and so it has, of course, topic pages for the people who created the tools. Those pages inevitably become pretty boring, because the tools site isn't the place to collect lots and lots of information about people. ...

Read | 2008-10-28 15:20 | 3 comment(s)

TMCLedit

In the open space sessions at TMRA 2008 Hannes Niederhausen, a member of the Topic Maps Lab, presented his thesis project, which he calls TMCLedit. This is essentially a graphical modelling tool based on the initial GTM level 1 proposal. His idea is that it will let users graphically model their ontologies, and be able to import and export them to TMCL. ...

Read | 2008-10-26 17:30 | 1 comment(s)

GTMalpha

At this year's TMRA Hendrik Thomas presented GTMalpha, a proposed graphical notation for Topic Maps. This proposal was born out of his experiences with drawing Topic Maps examples in discussions with his colleagues, where he got fed up with confusion over what the drawings were meant to show. His presentation is essentially a private proposal for GTM level 0. ...

Read | 2008-10-24 14:10 | 1 comment(s)

A TMCL tutorial

The TMCL standard now seems more or less stable, and so now it is finally possible to explain to outsiders what the language looks like and how it works. The first thing to note is that TMCL is firmly meant for validation, and not for reasoning. In other words, TMCL is a schema language, rather like DTDs, RELAX-NG, XSD, EXPRESS, SQL DDL, and so on, but one specifically designed for Topic Maps. Note: this has been updated to the latest 2009-06-16 draft. ...

Read | 2008-10-03 17:33 | 9 comment(s)

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