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Re: "scheme" attribute of META element

From: Tom Dent <tom.dent@porism.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 08:22:31 +0200
Message-ID: <9e02d7200908182322y26c76e67rca8217d82b2a2781@mail.gmail.com>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: public-html-comments@w3.org
On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 12:19 PM, Ian Hickson<ian@hixie.ch> wrote:
> On Tue, 4 Aug 2009, Tom Dent wrote:
>> On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 7:27 PM, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:
>> >
>> > Could you show an example of how the scheme attribute affects the user
>> > experience? I looked around but couldn't find any pages that actually
>> > expose any of this data, so it wasn't clear to me whether any code other
>> > than the validators and CMSes actually used it.
>>
>> The scheme does not directly impact on the user, but can (for example)
>> do so via search software.  You can see a view of IPSV at
>> http://www.esd.org.uk/standards/ipsv/viewer/ or LGSL at
>> http://www.esd.org.uk/standards/lgsl/viewer .
>>
>> If a user searched for pages by using a "non-preferred term", the search
>> engine should convert that to an IPSV preferred term and then return all
>> content with that preferred term in its metadata (with the IPSV scheme).
>> The search software might also suggest showing content for broader and
>> narrower subject headings from the IPSV hierarchy.
>>
>> The LGSL is being used to reference local authority sites in the UK
>> Government's Directgov site (at http://www.direct.gov.uk/) which is used
>> as a portal to local authority sites, and uses LGSL to reference pages.
>
> This doesn't really seem like a very compelling use case. Surely more
> modern search technologies would be a significantly more effective way of
> addressing the same problem at the user level, but with a significantly
> better user experience? Can you walk me through what a typical user might
> search for in a way that metadata with a scheme would affect the result?
> I'm having trouble figuring out what a suitable "non-preferred term" might
> be. For example, I did a search on direct.gov.uk for "how do i report
> foreign income for tax purposes", which gave me the same top result as
> Google did for that same search (with a site restrict), and did not appear
> to be in any way affected by metadata terms that used schemes.
Using the LGSL metadata can make the seach at the Directgov site more
powerful than Google. For example, this page about abandoned vehicles
references LGSL:
http://www.chiltern.gov.uk/site/scripts/services_info.php?serviceID=306&startsWith=A
<meta name="eGMS.subject.service" lang="en" scheme="LGSL"
content="Abandoned vehicles" />
Doing a Google search for that abandoned vehicles and a postcode in
that authority does not return the correct page:
http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=de&q=HP5+1RS+abandoned+vehicles
However entering your postcode into the Directgov site (which also
references the LGSL in the URL) does:
 http://local.direct.gov.uk/LDGRedirect/LocationSearch.do?searchtype=1&LGSL=372&LGIL=0&Style=&formsub=t&text=HP5+1RS
This is particulaly import for people who live in areas which are
covered by more than one authority, as they may not know which of the
authorities supplies the service they need. Searching the site for
this text returns many results - using the LGSL allows authorities to
mark which page most appropriately represents this:
http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=+site:www.chiltern.gov.uk+abandoned+vehicles
As Google does not search this metadata, it is unable to determine
which page best represents this service.

As an example of non-preferred terms, IPSV 219 is "Taxis", but has
non-preferred terms (terms which apply to the same concept) of
"Minicabs", "London cabs", "Cabs" and "Taxicabs". All the terms apply
to the same concept but may be used in different situations. However
to give a common vacabulary to know that the same concept is being
referenced, the concept is given a preferred term.
Received on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 06:23:13 GMT

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