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Re: HTML title element, DC.title

From: Matthew Smith <matt@kbc.net.au>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 16:09:59 +1030
Message-ID: <41EDF2AF.10802@kbc.net.au>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
CC: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

I wrote:
>> Where Dublin Core metadata is provided, embedded within a document  
>> header or separately, is it true to say that the HTML <title></title>  
>> element in the document header should have exactly the same content as 
>> a  DC.title assertion about that document?

Chaals replied:
> My reservation comes from the way that the title element is used, as  
> compared to a metadata title - there is an argument to be made that an  
> HTML title should be designed to be easily recognised in a web-browsing  
> situtation, whereas a DC title can afford to be more "artistic" (for 
> want  of a decent way to explain what I mean :-( I am not sure how 
> strong that  argument is though.

It could be argued that "easily recognised in a web-browsing situation" is a 
"use plain language" type of accessibility issue.  (There is a whole circle of 
hell for the authors of "Untitled Document"; imagine going into a library to 
look for a book and finding that the spine of each bears the legend "Untitled 

Should "external" types of metadata (like Dublin Core, as opposed to the 
<title></title> element as metadata) not also be accessible?  Making the title 
"artistic", as Chaals puts it (I know what he means), may taint the 
accessibility of the metadata element by not following "use simplest language". 
  When working in the Dublin Core context, we always have DC.description in 
which we can put any embelishments.

The more I think about it, the stronger I feel about the importance of the title 
and keeping that title consistent in any "external" metadata.  In our library, 
should a record card for a book not use the same title found on the spine of the 
book?  If the title differs, can we tell that this is actually the same book (or 



Matthew Smith
Kadina Business Consultancy
South Australia
Received on Wednesday, 19 January 2005 05:40:15 UTC

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