The AsTMa language family is designed to support authoring, management and retrieval of Topic maps information.

There are several motivations to define new languages:

XTM has proven NOT to be a language for human authoring. XTM is just an interchange format and even with XML editors creating maps is not necessarily productive. Linear Topic map Notation has early addressed this weakness and is offering a different linear notation (sic) for authoring.

It is expected that Topic maps processing will evolve into several different activities concerning not only authoring but also specifying semantic constraints on a set of maps, updating and maintaining topic maps and querying topic map databases. The current languages do not address this at all.

The existence of several sublanguages (instead of a single one) is the separation of concerns in an industrial deployment. In such settings a Topic maps author should be able to concentrate on his task, namely encoding multidimensional information into topic maps. The author should not bother about the querying process. On a similar take, a topic map update can be done separately from authoring.

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