Ben More on Emergent

Ben More on Emergent Taxonomies: “So, with an Emergent Taxonomy you start off with the entry itself, and relate other entries to it – and you *don’t*give*the*category*a*name*that*influences*it. How you relate the entries can be anything – from linking to it, to referencing it with a trackback to encoding an xlink or rdf data that adds additional flavours of relationship. But either way, it’s just a one-on-one relationship between entries. And then, you just treat it like a social network, where the clusters are where the topics get more dense, and more defined. ”

Good thinking. Names (terms) are indeed limiting, that’s why we need so many controlled vocabularies and such. However, categories are how we think (see anything by Lakoff), which is why the topic approach makes sense: a topic can have many names (or terms), but it still is the same topic. I think the whole XTM topic concept (as copied in XFML) is still limited (in that it assumes topics as the atomic unit, where categories might be better), but they aren’t limited by names so much.

xSiteable 0.5 released: A CMS

xSiteable 0.5 released: A CMS built around topic maps: “It has a simple Notation language for content called xSiteable Notation, utilizing for structure, binding and other assorted cleverness and the Sablotron XSLT parser for quick, reliable and powerful processing. Just run the xSiteable script, and you get a complete site out the other end, ready for deployment. Topics, associations and occurences, together with a mini-content management system and notation system, all wrapped up in one.”

I’ve used cloudmark for several

I’ve used cloudmark for several months now, and it is no doubt the best anti spam software around. Their business model is brilliant as well: the consumer version is free, in return they get the collaborative anti-spam filtering of millions of people, and they sell the enterprise model that uses that intelligence. I hope it works out and they can keep the consumer version free, if not they’ll stand no chance against MS.

Carl Linnaeus, father of all

Carl Linnaeus, father of all taxonomy: “Before Linnaeus, species naming practices varied. Many biologists gave the species they described long, unwieldy Latin names, which could be altered at will; a scientist comparing two descriptions of species might not be able to tell which organisms were being referred to. For instance, the common wild briar rose was referred to by different botanists as Rosa sylvestris inodora seu canina and as Rosa sylvestris alba cum rubore, folio glabro. The need for a workable naming system was made even greater by the huge number of plants and animals that were being brought back to Europe from Asia, Africa, and the Americas.” (via Ben Hammersley)

And more reactions to Mark’s

And more reactions to Mark’s XFML post:

metaGarbage: “XFML is a new kid on the block and yet another metadata format, somewhat similar to RSS. I%u2019m not quite sure of what use it is to me at the moment, but there%u2019s a feed available.”

Sean McGrath :”Breaking out of rigid hierarchies with faceted classification and XFML. Doesn’t this look nice? […] I see a bright future for XFML.”

Mickblog: “This is an interesting variation on RSS/RDF. It allows you to describe your site in a much more categorical manner and allows you to create more poweful navigation aids. I’m sure it does much more but thats good enough to be interesting.”

G10.log: “My question to Has is, “how expensive would it be to implement XML, XFML into a site to make the site’s content accessible to anyone?” There are many companies that fall into the $10,000 and under price tag for a site, is it possible to build some of these “advanced” technologies into a site without dramatically increasing the cost?” How about, like, for free?

[BOT] Concept Dictionary. This is

[BOT] Concept Dictionary. This is a set of topics and subtopics about drugs. Manually, a set of weigthed generating terms were added. A spider searches the web for stories related to drugs and automatically assigns topics to these stories. The end results gets exported in this XFML feed, which is the first known case of someone using the occurrence strength concept which lets you indicate how much trust you have in the occurrence. I say cool.


XFML (through Mark’s excellent post) is getting people thinking. The word imagine crops up regularly in these posts.

Heal Your Church: “Using a format such as XFML, or at least a much smaller node-like structure based upon an XFML element, the system then goes out and pushes the necessary information into our waiting queue, emails the appropriate moderator for final approval. No forms, no typos, no fuss, no muss. ”

Traumwind: “XFML, Lua and Traumtank
well, maybe not in that order… But that’s what is keeping me ticking these last days.”

Rowboat: “This has the data structuralist in me drooling! It’s like having that pile of Lego in front of me again!”

Column Two: “This is a really useful case-study that shows how faceted classification information can be converted into a range of navigation and searching tools, amongst other wonders. “ “If I was a better geek, this article on XFML at would be fascinating, illuminating and revelatory. Instead I stare at it in desperation, terror and confusion as the words change and resolve themselves in front of me to read, “Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb“. This is not the kind of thing I’m supposed to admit in public.”

Microsoft works to create back-up

Microsoft works to create back-up brain: “Researchers at Microsoft%u2019s laboratories in San Francisco are working on ways to create a %u2018back-up brain%u2019 that will record and catalogue every picture you take, document you write and conversation you record.
The researchers recognise, however, that the biggest challenge will come with deciding on how best to organise the material. They are currently working on developing a taxonomy that will accommodate the huge range of associations and relationships the material will require.”