OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language)

Thanks to Kika for pointing out the OPML format to me, which might hold some promise for people interested in shared/distributed taxonomies. What is it?

OPML an XML-based format that allows exchange of outline-structured information between applications running on different operating systems and environments.

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OPML is a language for outlin

OPML is a language for outlines. It has little value for sharing taxonomies because it only allows for hierarchies (hierarchies are not that useful by themselves), and it doesn't allow for indicating connection between different nodes. It's great for writing though, organising your thoughts! And for creating directories.

Blog: poorbuthappy ease by PeterV

Where to look at?

What would you suggest to share taxonomy with? RDF? Topic maps?
There were also a simpler XMLbased taxonomy/topicmap format proposed recently - damit where's the link when I need it? :)


Taxonomies or thesauri

I think a barebones outline format might serve some purposes, but is limited, as Peter suggests. My question when dealing with sharing taxonomies is, are you going to share hierarchies of nodes only or are you also going to share all the descriptive information about each node?

There is an RDF format for thesauri (Thesaurus::RDF) that allows you to format descriptive info for a thesaurus terms (BT, NT, SN, HN, Source, Status, etc.). I am, of course, in favor of being able to export your entire vocabulary using a format like this. But there are times when you will want to export a subset of the terms in a thesaurus. For example, you may want to create a polyhierarchical listing based on certain facets for one purpose. Perhaps this export will show shallower parent-child relationships than and export of the full thesaurus might by climbing up and down the Broader term (BT)/Narrower term (NT) branches. I don't know. This kind of stuff has to be defined.

I guess the important question when considering this issue is who is the audience you are going to share this taxonomy or thesaurus with? What is the intended purpose?


> There were also a simpler XMLbased taxonomy/topicmap format
> proposed recently - damit where's the link when I need it? :)

Found it:

eXchangable Faceted Metadata Language
XFML is an open XML format for publishing and connecting faceted metadata between websites

I guess it was already in the iaslash news, but I could'nt find it anymore


Yes, XFML (expected to be fin

Yes, XFML (expected to be finished with working software in the summer) is meant for sharing faceted metadata. You can indicate my topic called "information architecture" (for example) is the same as your topic (on your blog) "architecture of information". It isn't really meant to share controlled vocabularies or thesaurus information, as that would get too complex and then you might just as well use xtm (TOPICMAPS)..

Blog: poorbuthappy ease by PeterV

Categories, Outlines, and Content

The hypertext people are also thinking along the lines of sharing...


Not directly related, I know, but if we think a little differently about the relationship between data and metadata (which get pushed together in hypertext) then it becomes a discussion of sharing content rather than categories. That's all.