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XHTML2 and metainformation

From: Ernest Cline <ernestcline@mindspring.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2003 01:42:23 -0400
To: www-html-editor@w3.org, www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <3E9F57FF.3048.32D044B@localhost>

I am troubled by the way that metainformation is being handled in 
XHTML2. My main concern comes from the fact that the working draft 
allows for multiple profiles, which is a change from previous (X)HTML. 
The problem is that is possible that two profiles could use the same 
metainformation property name for two separate purposes. The example I 
am going to use makes use of one existing profile and one created (but 
logical) one to show what I mean.

In the Dublin Core metainformation scheme the attributes are indicated 
by the prefixing the property names by "DC.".  For example, in an XHTML 
version of a comic book we could have:
  <meta name="DC.Publisher">DC Comics</meta>

However, in the periodical industry, the term publisher refers to a 
person resposible for overseeing the details of getting a particular 
book published, not a company and if DC Comics were to develop its own 
metainformation properties, they might decide to also prefix everything 
with "DC." also and so want to have on that page:
  <meta name="DC.Publisher">Karen Berger</meta>

This creates a problem.

A second and minor concern is that in my opinion the profile attribute 
should be defined in the Metainformation Module and not the Structure 
Module.

Here is a proposal of how to resolve both problems.

<ml profile="http://www.dublincore.org">
  <mi name="Publisher">DC Comics</mi>
</ml>
<ml profile="http://www.dccomics.com">
  <mi name="Publisher">Karen Berger</mi>
</ml>

The idea is that <ml> (or whatever it is decided to call the element) 
is a list of metainformation items which share common attributes such 
as a profile while <mi> represents one such metainformation item. Since 
uniqueness is now assured by the assignment of both a profile and a 
name, kuldgy schemes such as applying a prefix to the property name 
would no longer be necessary.

Formal Specification:

The ml element
Attributes: Common, profile=URI
MCM: mi+

The mi element
Attributes: Common, name=NMTOKEN
MCM: PCDATA
Received on Friday, 18 April 2003 01:42:39 GMT

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