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RE: "scheme" attribute of META element

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Sat, 9 May 2009 01:42:17 +0000 (UTC)
To: "Chabot, Elliot" <Elliot.Chabot@mail.house.gov>
Cc: public-html-comments@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0905090116090.7824@hixie.dreamhostps.com>
On Fri, 8 May 2009, Chabot, Elliot wrote:
> 
> There is a list of tools and software for use with Dublin Core data at 
> http://www.dublincore.org/tools/.

Are you aware of anyone who applies these tools to the house.gov data?

The page above lists the following tools that consume Dublin Core data:

  http://www.library.kr.ua/dc/dceditunie.html
    Lets you edit the data or convert it to UNIMARC.

  http://www.dublincore.org/tools/tools/tool-8.shtml
    A Firefox extension that shows the scheme verbatim without
    processing it.

That's it, as far as I can tell -- all the others are metadata generators.

This is not a very convincing set of tools. The Firefox plugin would work 
equally as well without the scheme="". Is support for Dublin Core 
conversion to UNIMARC so important that HTML should support it?


> One straight-forward application for the data is cataloguing web 
> documents in ways that are meaningful to professional librarians.

Are there professional librarians making use of the scheme="" attribute as 
part of the metadata that is published in house.gov pages?


> I believe that Dublin Core passes the test that you set out as not being 
> "data that in practice nobody will ever use; we don't want to encourage 
> people to spend time on something that will not actually ever help 
> humanity."

It's not clear that it is actually helpful. What problem does it solve?


> In weighing the equities of keeping the "scheme" attribute of the META 
> attribute (which is used in Dublin Core), I would urge you to consider 
> that:
>
> * In setting up their standard, the folks at Dublin Core relied on  
> 7.4.4 of the W3C's HTML 4.01 Specification - which provides for the 
> "scheme" attribute; and
>
> * Appendix C 
> <http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/NOTE-UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20-20081211/appendixC.html> 
> of the W3C's Understanding WCAG 2.0 document identifies Dublin Core as 
> one of three "[w]ell-known specifications (schemas) for metadata".

I don't think anyone is suggesting that the folks at Dublin Core did 
anything wrong, merely that in practice scheme="" has turned out to not be 
necessary to mark up metadata that people actually subsequently use in any 
significant sense. What would be useful is pointers to examples of people 
actually using this data for a useful purpose, to solve real problems.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Saturday, 9 May 2009 01:42:15 GMT

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