[topicmapmail] TMRA 2008 and the Topic Maps community

Steve Newcomb srn at coolheads.com
Mon Nov 3 11:04:54 EST 2008

Regarding topicmaps.org, here is some relevant history, concluding with
present status.

At the urging of Steve Pepper, me, and several others, Michel Biezunski 
(who operates this list, by the way) generously donated the 
topicmaps.org domain name to Standards Council of Canada (the Canadian 
national body of ISO) during its tenure as SC34 Secretariat. If you do a 
whois, you will see that they still own it; it has not been transferred 
to the new secretariat in Korea yet.

It's one thing to own a domain name, and it's another thing to assume 
authority and responsibility for it. In fact, nobody has changed the DNS 
for topicmaps.org since Michel donated it. Again, if you do a whois, you 
will see that the DNS is xname.org. What you may not know is that it's 
*my* account at xname.org that controls which server has the 
topicmaps.org website. This is because, years ago, I assumed 
responsibility for making sure that there was a topicmaps.org website 
when OASIS stopped providing web service for the site. (In fact, it was 
offline for some unknown length of time before anybody even noticed that 
there was a problem.) So, to this very day, topicmaps.org runs on my 
company's webserver (as does this list, by the way). This is a very 
light burden, we hardly notice it, I'm not complaining about it, and it 
is not necessary that we be relieved any time soon. On the other hand, 
this is an administratively messy situation that I think the Korean 
national body should think about. Maybe that's what Patrick is working on.

I very much sympathize with Alexander Johannesen's frustrations (hello, 
Alexander, and regrets I could not be in Leipzig this year!).

Lars Heuer wrote:
> Hi Alexander,
> [...]
>> I speak with people in this community all the time, and the concern
>> for its welfare and lack of an open community is always lingering,
>> floating just above most conversations.
> Actually, this a point I can agree with. Topic Maps has a bad
> PR department. Since years people like to see a refreshed
> topicmaps.org website, for example. And everytime someone writes "We
> should update topicmaps.org" everybody agrees but for some reason it
> seems to be impossible to catch the person in charge. Is there a
> person in charge?
> But I don't get the point why blogging about lunch would help the
> Topic Maps community. We have some good Topic Maps blogs out there and
> I think it's better to have a few healthy blogs about Topic Maps
> rather than 100 blogs founded after a conference where 95% will die
> after 3 entries.
> Back to the topic: I've seen several threads like this "community is
> dying, where are the killer apps etc. ..." and I wondered always why
> the writers do no actively change the situation? If you think there
> should be more blog entries about TMRA: write some. If someone thinks
> we need a Topic Maps killer app: write one.
> In my opinion these kind of complaining e-mails do not lead to
> anything useful if you do not change something actively.
> Best regards,
> Lars

More information about the topicmapmail mailing list