Information Technology ---

Document Description and Processing Languages

TITLE: Report of SC34/WG3
SOURCE: Steve Pepper
STATUS: Convenor's Report
ACTION: For information
DATE: 2003-04-15
DISTRIBUTION: SC34 and Liaisons
REPLY TO: Dr. James David Mason
(ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 Chairman)
Y-12 National Security Complex
Bldg. 9113, M.S. 8208
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-8208 U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 865 574-6973
Facsimile: +1 865 574-18964
Network: [email protected]

Ms. Sara Desautels, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 Secretariat
American National Standards Institute
11 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
Tel: +1 212 642 4976
Fax: +1 212 840 2298
Email: mailto:[email protected]

Report of SC34/WG3

1. Recent meetings

Meetings of WG3 were held in Montréal (August 2002) and Baltimore (December 2002). In addition, regular discussion has been conducted on the WG3 mailing list (see archives). The website at has been regularly updated with new documents.

2. Status of Projects

2.1 Project JTC1.34.39, Hypertext and Multimedia

2.1.1 DIS 10743 SMDL

SMDL was approved as an IS in March 1997 but preparation of a final text was held off in anticipation of revisions to HyTime. ISO has since cancelled the project. However, industry demand for a standard music description language seems to be increasing. WG3 is looking for resources to reopen the standard and has established contact with interested parties at Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique and Interactive MusicNetwork.

2.1.2 ISO/IEC 10744 HyTime

The amendment to HyTime (N1985) has been cancelled by ISO because of lack of progress. The status of the TC (N1988) is currently being clarified, but no further work on HyTime is expected in the near future.

2.2 Project JTC1.34.43 ISMID

2.2.1 ISO/IEC 13240 ISMID

Mr. David Cooper has agreed to function as Defect's Editor.

2.3 Project JTC1.34.67 Topic Maps

2.3.1 ISO/IEC 13250 Topic Maps

The New Work Item for a restatement of ISO 13250 was approved (N388) by national bodies with the following comments:


N 323 is still an accurate guide to the work activities defined in N 358, implying that a key item for N 358 is to clarify and better establish the relationship between the SAM and RM.


Japan nominates Mr. Motom Naito as an editor of a part of the Topic Maps.


Norway is not convinced of the need to include the Reference Model in ISO 13250 and requests clearer evidence of industry requirements. In any event the Reference Model must not be allowed to delay the finalization and publication of other parts of 13250, in particular the Standard Application Model and the XTM syntax specification.



The scope statement should be extended to include the four bulleted items in the original scope of ISO 13250, but not the final paragraph, which should be replaced by a statement of the following form:

"In addition to providing a formal reference model for topic map assertions, and defining a set of information items that can be used to describe the component parts of topic maps in object oriented models, the standard also defines two standardized syntaxes for representing the model, one based on the use of the W3C Extensible Markup Language (XML) derived from the WebSGML applicaiton of the ISO 8879 Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), and the other based on the use SGML Architectural Forms and other techniques defined in ISO 10744, Hypermedia/Time-based Structuring Language (HyTime). For the purposes of conformance testing the standard also defines a canonicalized format for the representation of topic map information items within test suites."

Purpose and justification

Nothing is stated about the need to identify additions required to ISO 13250 to allow features added in the XTM syntax to be defined within the revised standard.

The first part of the standard should not be "A guide to the relationships between topic map standards" but should contain "An overview of the relationships between the Parts of the Standard". Whether or not it should contain reference to related standards, such as TCML and TQML is a moot point. What is definitely required is a statement of how the proposed syntaxes related to the different models, and to the canonicalized form of topic maps that can be used for conformance testing. It should also explain the role of the process of "deserialization" and the rules that apply to merging.

2.3.2 ISO/IEC 18048 Topic Map Query Language

TMQL is being progressed on the basis of the current version of the SAM. New requirements have been collected via the TMQL mailing list and a workshop is being arranged in conjunction with WG3's meeting in London.

2.3.3 ISO/IEC 19756 Topic Map Constraint Language

Revised User Requirements for TMCL were published in April 2003 (see N226). Mr. Steve Pepper has tendered his resignation as Editor on the grounds of lack of resources. New editors should be appointed and a timetable drawn up for further work.

2.4 Project JTC1.34.xx ISO-HTML

2.4.1 ISO/IEC 15445 ISO-HTML

A final text of the Technical Corrigendum to ISO-HTML was released in March 2002 and has been published.