ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC34 N0358 Rev


Information Technology --

Document Description and Processing Languages

Title: New Work Item Proposal for Restatement of Topic Maps, ISO/IEC 13250:2002
Source: JTC1/SC34/WG3
Project: ISO/IEC 13250:2002
Project editor: M. Biezunski, M. Bryan, S. Newcomb
Status: NP
Action: Processing by JTC1/SC 34
Date: 20 December 2002
Due Date: 20 March 2003
Distribution: SC34 and Liaisons
Refer to:
Reply to: Dr. James David Mason
(ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 Chairman)
Y-12 National Security Complex
Information Technology Services
Bldg. 9113 M.S. 8208
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-8208 U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 865 574-6973
Facsimile: +1 865 574-1896
E-mailk: mailto:[email protected]

Mrs. Sara Desautels, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 Secretariat
American National Standards Institute
25 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
Tel: +1 212 642-4937
Fax: +1 212 840-2298
E-mail: [email protected]


Date of presentation of proposal: 
ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 N  358 

A proposal for a new work item shall be submitted to the secretariat of the ISO/IEC joint technical committee concerned with a copy to the ISO Central Secretariat.

Presentation of the proposal - to be completed by the proposer Guidelines for proposing and justifying a new work item are given in ISO Guide 26.

Title (subject to be covered and type of standard, e.g. terminology, method of test, performance requirements, etc.) 


Topic Maps (ISO/IEC 13250)


Scope (and field of application) 

Topic maps enable multiple, concurrent views of sets of information objects. The structural nature of these views is unconstrained; they may reflect an object oriented approach, or they may be relational, hierarchical, ordered, unordered, or any combination of the foregoing. Moreover, an unlimited number of topic maps may be overlaid on a given set of information resources. (From ISO/IEC 13250)

Purpose and justification - attach a separate page as annex, if necessary 

This is a restatement of the standard to allow the following:

  1. Formal specification of the topic maps data model
  2. Explanation of the relationship between the two standard interchange syntaxes
  3. Conformance testing of topic map engines through the use of a canonical syntax
  4. Correction of defects

The resulting standard is expected to contain the following:

  • A guide to the relationships between the topic maps standards
  • The Standard Application Model
  • The Reference Model
  • The XML Topic Maps syntax (XTM) and how it is deserialized
  • The HyTime Topic Maps syntax (HyTM) and how it is deserialized
  • Canonicalization of topic maps (for conformance testing)
Programme of work

If the proposed new work item is approved , which of the following document(s) is (are) expected to be developed?
____ a single International Standard 
____ more than one International Standard (expected number: ........ ) 
_X__ a multi-part International Standard consisting of 6 parts 
____ an amendment or amendments to the following International Standard(s) .................................... 
____ a technical report , type 2 


Relevant documents to be considered

Guide to the topic map standards (SC34 N323), ISO/IEC 13250, Topic Maps (SC34 N322), The XML Topic Maps (XTM) Syntax 1.0 (SC34 N328), Reference Model for ISO/IEC 13250 Topic Maps (SC34 N344), The Standard Application Model for Topic Maps (SC34 N356)

Cooperation and liaison


Preparatory work offered with target date(s)



Sara Desautels, ANSI

Will the service of a maintenance agency or registration authority be required?  No
- If yes, have you identified a potential candidate? ................
- If yes, indicate name .............................................................

Are there any known requirements for coding? No
-If yes, please specify on a separate page

Are there any known requirements for cultural and linguistic adaptability? No
- If yes, please specify on a separate page

Does the proposed standard concern known patented items? No
- If yes, please provide full information in an annex

Comments and recommendations of the JTC 1 Secretariat - attach a separate page as an annex, if necessary
Comments with respect to the proposal in general, and recommendations thereon:



Voting on the proposal - Each P-member of the ISO/IEC joint technical committee has an obligation to vote within the time limits laid down (normally three months after the date of circulation).
Date of circulation
Closing date for voting: 
Signature of JTC 1/SC 34 Secretary:
Sara Desautels, ANSI


Criterion Validity Explanation
A Business Requirement    
A.1 Market Requirement Essential _X_ 
Desirable ___ 
Supportive ___
Without a formal data model (currently termed the Standard Application Model) it is not possible to guarantee interoperability between implementations or define a standard mechanisms for expressing queries and constraints on topic maps. (Note: A Topic Map Query Language and a Topic Map Constraint Language are already approved work items with the ISO/IEC numbers 18048 and 19756 respectively. Work on these cannot be completed without the formal data model.)
A.2 Regulatory Context Essential ___ 
Desirable ___ 
Supportive ___ 
Not Relevant _X_
B. Related Work    
B.1 Completion/Maintenance of current standards Yes _X_ 
The NP takes the form of maintenance of an existing standard, ISO/IEC 13250.
B.2 Commitment to other organization Yes ___ 
No _X_ 
B.3 Other Source of standards Yes ___ 
No _X_ 
C. Technical Status    
C.1 Mature Technology Yes _X_ 
No ___
A number of commercial and open source implementations of ISO/IEC 13250 now exist and serve to demonstrate the maturity of the technology.
C.2 Prospective Technology Yes ___
This NP is not anticipatory. It is motived by a proven need (not least by the above-mentioned implementations) for the proposed extensions and clarifications.
C.3 Models/Tools Yes ___ 
No _X_
D. Conformity Assessment and Interoperability    
D.1 Conformity Assessment Yes ___ 
No _X_
D.2 Interoperability Yes _X_ 
No ___ 
SGML (ISO 8879), HyTime (ISO/IEC 10744), XML (W3C Recommendation)
E. Other Justification    


Notes to Proforma

A. Business Relevance. That which identifies market place relevance in terms of what problem is being solved and or need being addressed.

A.1. Market Requirement. When submitting a NP, the proposer shall identify the nature of the Market Requirement, assessing the extent to which it is essential, desirable or merely supportive of some other project.

A.2 Technical Regulation. If a Regulatory requirement is deemed to exist - e.g. for an area of public concern e.g. Information Security, Data protection, potentially leading to regulatory/public interest action based on the use of this voluntary international standard - the proposer shall identify this here.

B. Related Work. Aspects of the relationship of this NP to other areas of standardization work shall be identified in this section.

B.1 Competition/Maintenance. If this NP is concerned with completing or maintaining existing standards, those concerned shall be identified here.

B.2 External Commitment. Groups, bodies, or fora external to JTC1 to which a commitment has been made by JTC for cooperation and or collaboration on this NP shall be identified here.

B.3 External Std/Specification. If other activities creating standards or specifications in this topic area are known to exist or be planned, and which might be available to JTC1 as PAS, they shall be identified here.

C. Technical Status. The proposer shall indicate here an assessment of the extent to which the proposed standard is supported by current technology.

C.1 Mature Technology. Indicate here the extent to which the technology is reasonably stable and ripe for standardization.

C.2 Prospective Technology. If the NP is anticipatory in nature based on expected or forecasted need, this shall be indicated here.

C.3 Models/Tools. If the NP relates to the creation of supportive reference models or tools, this shall be indicated here.

D. Any other aspects of background information justifying this NP shall be indicated here.

D. Conformity Assessment and Interoperability

D.1 Indicate here if Conformity Assessment is relevant to your project. If so, indicate how it is addressed in your project plan.

D.2 Indicate here if Interoperability is relevant to your project. If so, indicate how it is addressed in your project plan.



ISO/IEC JTC 1 /SC 34 N 358

Date of Circulation of NP:   2002-12-20

Date of Ballot Close:   2003-03-20

Please return all votes and comments directly to the JTC 1/SC 34 Secretariat by the due date indicated.

Proposal for a new work item on

Title:    Topic Maps (ISO/IEC 13250)

Any proposal to add a new item to the programme of work shall be voted on by correspondence, even if it has appeared in the agenda of a meeting.

A. Vote






Do you accept the proposal in document JTC 1/SC 34 N 358 as a sufficient definition of the new work item? (If you have responded "NO" to the above question, you are required to comment.)





Do you support the addition of the new work item to the programme of work of the joint technical committee?




B. Participation






Do you commit yourself to participate in the development of this new work item?





Are you able to offer a project editor who will dedicate his/her efforts to the advancement and maintenance of this project? (If "YES," please identify .............................................................)




C. Documentation






Do you have a major contribution or a reference document ready for submittal?





Will you have such a contribution in ninety days?





P-member Voting:

National Body ______________________



Submitted by:

Name ____________________________