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RE: metadata vs. "structured data"

From: Eric van der Vlist <vdv@dyomedea.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2006 11:23:10 +0200
To: neil@oilit.com
Cc: bob@snee.com, 'Ben Adida' <ben@mit.edu>, 'RDFa' <public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1161681790.30360.30.camel@localhost.localdomain>
Le mardi 24 octobre 2006 à 10:36 +0200, Neil McNaughton a écrit :
> One useful distinction that is in use by some is that 'metadata' refers to
> data about the data within the object - eg BananaML - <length> 12 cm ...
> And the term 'master data' is used about data/information that may or may
> not be within the object but that has currency outside of the object itself
> eg BananaML - <importer> Big Fruit Co Ltd....
> It seems to me that RDF's intent is to make master data (as above)
> accessible to other readers/applications that don't know or care about the
> details of BananaML itself? Is this right?

That's a usual definition but as such it is very subjective and a matter
of perspective.

When I write <p>That's a usual definition but I think that it is very
subjective and a matter of perspective.</p>, depending on my
perspective, I can consider that this is a string and that the fact that
this string is a paragraph is an information about the string. In that
case, the fact that the string is a paragraph would be... metadata!

The notion of metadata can thus only be described relatively to a
specific application or vocabulary and metadata is then anything that is
"out of topic" for the vocabulary.

When the vocabulary is XHTML, the fact that something is representing a
length is metadata even if the same information would be "master data"
as you say for BananaML.

Anyway, I do agree with Bob that despite its subjectivity, the term
metadata is most appropriate for RDFa.


> Neil McNaughton
> Editor, Oil IT Journal (www.oilit.com)
> In an independent 2005 survey by Houston-based Spur Digital, 
> www.oilit.com was found to be the "Top Website for Energy IT Professionals".
> www.oilit.com currently receives between 1500 and 2000 visitors per day.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf-request@w3.org
> [mailto:public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Bob DuCharme
> Sent: 23 October 2006 19:26
> To: Ben Adida
> Cc: RDFa
> Subject: metadata vs. "structured data"
> On Sat, October 21, 2006 6:19 pm, Ben Adida wrote:
> > I've come to think that the word "metadata" is indeed confusing, even if
> > it is often correct. So I'm trying out this new wording of "structured
> > data." Let's see what everyone thinks.
> Because it's common for people to use the term "structured data" to refer
> to XML and even to relational data (leading some to call XML
> "semi-structured" data), its use in a discussion of RDFa is even more
> confusing than saying "metadata." An XHTML document is already structured
> data, so the use of the term in the Primer makes it much vaguer now about
> what exactly RDFa lets you add to an XHTML document.
> I noticed that the word "metadata" is completely removed from the the
> document, which I think is a big mistake. When I gave a presentation to a
> magazine publishing group about what XHTML2 would do for them, I had
> several slides on RDFa, and they really liked it. They want simple ways to
> store metadata (e.g. workflow, provenance, and search metadata) about
> documents and about identifiable components of documents. RDF/XML is too
> complicated for them, but RDFa can address their issues at a level they
> can understand.
> As with unsuccessful marketing literature, the use of broader terminology
> to make something sound applicable to a wider range of problems only makes
> the language vaguer, making it more difficult for people to understand the
> problems that can be solved.
> Bob DuCharme
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Have you ever thought about unit testing XSLT templates?
Eric van der Vlist       http://xmlfr.org            http://dyomedea.com
(ISO) RELAX NG   ISBN:0-596-00421-4 http://oreilly.com/catalog/relax
(W3C) XML Schema ISBN:0-596-00252-1 http://oreilly.com/catalog/xmlschema

Received on Tuesday, 24 October 2006 09:26:04 UTC

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