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Sample 'web page' metadata

From: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2008 10:18:16 -0400
Message-Id: <3505E077-0859-48AB-A1D8-F75E5397526E@creativecommons.org>
To: public-awwsw@w3.org

The question has arisen many times: Just what RDF would one want to  
write that involves an information resource? Here is one use case, for  
the mill.

If you go to the bottom of many web pages at NLM, for example this one:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/j_sel_faq.html
you will find a "metadata" link, in this case:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/cgi/viewMeta.pl?url=http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/j_sel_faq.html&description=full

Now this metadata is not available in RDF as far as I know, but I  
think it is a reasonable use case to be aware of. The maintainer of  
this metadata could easily feel justified in a naive translation of  
this metadata into RDF consisting of triples whose subject was given  
as the URI for the page under question, e.g.

<http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/j_sel_faq.html> dc:title "FAQ:  
Journal Selection for MEDLINEŽ Indexing at NLM" .

Of particular interest regarding any treatment of representations and  
resources:

- Is the assertion about the title supposed to be true for all  
representations over time, or does it just happen to be true right  
now?  There is no way to know. So conservatively one would have to  
take this as an assertion about current state, not a resource  
invariant. But NLM might have stronger information to convey. In an  
ideal world there is a way to make distinctions of this kind (true of  
current representations vs. commitment to maintenance of this truth  
over past and/or future time).

- The publication date applies to the resource, not to its current  
state or any current representation.

- Last updated applies to a (the) current representation. Perhaps  
related to HTTP Last-modified:

- Permanence level applies to the resource, as "permanence" is  
nonsensical for representations. One could imagine this changing over  
time, but only to promote the applicable stability policy to  
increasing stability.

- The assertion that the resource's language is English implies that  
there is no Tagalog representation of the resource. If I had to guess  
I'd say that the librarians and curators at NLM would say that  
different language means, to them, different document (different  
catalog number, rights, contact, permanence, update sequence, etc.).

Of no particular relevance here, this metadata arrangement is ripe for  
use of <link>, Link:, and/or RDFa.

Jonathan
Received on Friday, 1 August 2008 14:19:01 GMT

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