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RE: "metadata" as "data about data"

From: Makx Dekkers <mail@makxdekkers.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 23:00:36 +0100
To: <public-dwbp-comments@w3.org>
Cc: "'Dan Brickley'" <danbri@google.com>, "'Ralph Swick'" <swick@w3.org>
Message-ID: <002d01d0578f$cfb638b0$6f22aa10$@makxdekkers.com>
Getting back to Dan’s original comment, I honestly think that trying to say more than “metadata is data about data” is bound to get us into philosophical discussions. Of course there are no absolutes, but the sentence as written very concisely says that it is a matter of intention. Metadata is called metadata because its intention is to say something about something else where the “something else” is the  primary concern. The sentence has been used since I don’t know when; sometimes this philosophical discussion comes up, and in the end, I am pretty sure, we’ll stick with the ‘data about data’. 





De: Steven Adler [mailto:adler1@us.ibm.com] 
Enviado el: 05 March 2015 19:38
Para: João Paulo Almeida
CC: Christophe Guéret; Dan Brickley; João Paulo Almeida; public-dwbp-comments@w3.org; Ralph Swick
Asunto: Re: "metadata" as "data about data"


"works for google" is an attribute of Dan Brickley.  The metadata would be the field name of which the attribute would be recorded.

Best Regards,


Motto: "Do First, Think, Do it Again"

João Paulo Almeida ---03/05/2015 12:25:04 PM---Dan, I see your point, … In my perspective, the statement “Dan Brickley is the


João Paulo Almeida <jpalmeida@ieee.org <mailto:jpalmeida@ieee.org> >


Dan Brickley <danbri@google.com <mailto:danbri@google.com> >


Christophe Guéret <christophe.gueret@dans.knaw.nl <mailto:christophe.gueret@dans.knaw.nl> >, Ralph Swick <swick@w3.org <mailto:swick@w3.org> >, "public-dwbp-comments@w3.org <mailto:public-dwbp-comments@w3.org> " <public-dwbp-comments@w3.org <mailto:public-dwbp-comments@w3.org> >


03/05/2015 12:25 PM


Re: "metadata" as "data about data"



I see your point, … In my perspective, the statement “Dan Brickley is the
creator of this particular data item” is metadata (it encodes a
proposition about data). In contrast, “Dan Brickley works for Google” is
not (it does not encode a proposition about data).

This does not mean that metadata and non-metadata cannot be used together,
in which case the conjunction of both statements may be relevant to
characterize a data item as you suggest. Thus the statement “The creator
of this data item is employed by Google” is metadata.

To me, considering “Dan Brickley works for Google” as metadata because it
may be used together with metadata is what causes the confusion. I hope we
can find some way to clarify this. I don’t feel the disclaimer you
suggested will do the job.

João Paulo

On 5/3/15, 2:00 PM, "Dan Brickley" <danbri@google.com <mailto:danbri@google.com> > wrote:

>On 5 March 2015 at 16:55, João Paulo Almeida <jpalmeida@ieee.org <mailto:jpalmeida@ieee.org> > wrote:
>> Dear Dan,
>> I don¹t see how the statement ³Dan Brickley works for Google² could be
>> interpreted as metadata in our definition (nor in other
>> definition for metadata). Can you please clarify?
>If it appeared in the context of provenance information for a
>collection of files, describing the creator of those files, then
>conventionally this would be considered "metadata". It provides data
>about data - specifically who the employer of the creator of the data
>might be. But I don't want to argue the point, if your experience of
>the word "metadata" has been different to mine, you may have different
>> Regards,
>> João Paulo
>> On 5/3/15, 1:48 PM, "Dan Brickley" <danbri@google.com <mailto:danbri@google.com> > wrote:
>>>On 5 March 2015 at 16:43, Joao Paulo Almeida <jpalmeida@ieee.org <mailto:jpalmeida@ieee.org> > wrote:
>>>> Would you please provide an example where the text we use could lead
>>>> conceptual confusion?
>>>> I don't understand the disclaimer suggested by Dan. What is meant by
>>>> "absolute" distinction?
>>>The idea is that a statement like "Dan Brickley works for Google" is
>>>not inherently metadata versus data. It can be considered data, or
>>>considered metadata, depending on context and application. Therefore
>>>we should be careful not to give people the idea that there exists any
>>>deep important distinction between the two. In a 1990s context, this
>>>explained the very general approach taken in the RDF design. In the
>>>context of your document, the value is not so much that it would avoid
>>>conceptual confusion, but rather that it avoids presenting a
>>>(naturally) confusing distinction as a clear one.
>>>> best regards,
>>>> João Paulo
>>>> On Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 1:26 PM, Dan Brickley <danbri@google.com <mailto:danbri@google.com> >
>>>>> On 5 March 2015 at 16:20, Christophe Guéret
>>>>> <christophe.gueret@dans.knaw.nl <mailto:christophe.gueret@dans.knaw.nl> > wrote:
>>>>> > Hi Dan,
>>>>> >
>>>>> > Thanks for this! Funny thing is that I was sitting in a meeting
>>>>> > people today and when I asked them to comment on our document they
>>>>> > pointed out that this definition of metadata would not fit
>>>>> Some debates are destined to go on forever :) Thanks for considering
>>>>> the suggestion...
>>>>> Dan

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Received on Thursday, 5 March 2015 22:01:07 UTC

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