Date: 4 Feb. 2010
Of interest to topic maps that partition topics.
I thought last night after I wrote a draft of this post that sharding would interfere with arbitrary merging of any topic with any other topic.
OK, so what was the question?
True, sharding will make merging of arbitrary topics in a topic map more costly (if possible at all) but how often is completely unconstrained merging an actual requirement?
I suspect that most topic map projects, other than theoretical ones, already know what merging they are interested in and how those subjects are going to be identified.
Allowances for additional identifications of subjects should be made but that is a matter of careful design of your topic map.
Suggestion: Have merging specified just like any other requirement. What is expected? What is the criteria for success? What allowances need to be made for future expansion?