Message-Id: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Thu, 22 Aug 1996 11:38:53 -0500 To: MegaZone <email@example.com> From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Murray Altheim) Subject: Re: What are the problems with IDML? (fwd) Cc: Doug Donohoe <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org MegaZone <email@example.com> writes: >>> 2.META tags are poorly suited to specifying products. Some >>> Identify merchants have over 600,000 products; to catalog their >>> products using only META is ugly and impractical. We found >>> that a separate, dedicated tag just for product-tagging and >>> content-tagging provided greater flexibility and clarity. >>> I don't get this, I really don't. I've looked at their tags and I >>> don't see anything I can't do with META. >>This is merely an elaboration of the previous point. You say "I >>don't get this". What don't you understand? Perhaps we can clear > >I don't see any reason to use your tags when META does the job just fine, >is valid, and is proven. > >>All I ask is this: Sit down and think what it would really take >>to represent 100 products in a manner that a robot could understand. > >I have, I've done things like that. All it would take is a good naming >convention. I must be missing something because I sure can't see anything >provided by IDML that a well constructed naming convention wouldn't provide >in META. Well, I'm mystified. Either this is a silly argument or I'm off my nut. I think Dan answered this but I'm still seeing later notes continuing into the ozone. To repeat Dan's message: META is only allowed in HEAD, regardless of whether or not the HEAD _tags_ exist. As proooof: 1. TITLE is required. 2. TITLE is _always_ within HEAD. 3. Therefore, HEAD is always present by implication. 4. The first instance of non-HEAD content begins BODY, regardless of whether a <BODY> tag exists or not. 5. Therefore, BODY is always present by implication. 6. META only exists in HEAD. 7. Therefore, document content (ie., within BODY) cannot be marked up with META. [My unassailable logic baffles even me. I will next prove life exists on Mars.] As Doug points out, if a single document describes multiple products, then providing information about the individual products by adding that information to the HEAD of the document is not only "ugly and impractical", it simply won't work in a real system, unless one resorts to separating each product's "meta-information" to the HEAD of the document and providing some link between the META content and the actual document content. This could be done by lobbying for IDREF/IDREFS in META, but to what end? If IDML allows document content (within BODY) to be marked up with product identification information (not _document_ metainformation), then it seems that IDML is certainly a viable markup approach. This regardless of its other merits/demerits. I don't think industry-specific HTML extensions would probably be adopted as standards or supported in products outside of the target industry, much less standardized by IETF, ISO, etc. You might look within your own industry to propose its own standards. Aside from standards, you just need a supporting DTD to be "SGML legal." This could be done with a modular DTD, with IDML as a module, similar to the chemical industry's molecular modelling [CML] DTD that incorporates HTML. You'd simply create a DTD with an FPI something akin to: "-//Identify//DTD HTML 3.2 IDML Extensions//EN" I don't see Netscape, Microsoft, Spyglass, etc. providing HTML browser customization for each industry -- too much specialization and too many industries. I see this only happening with an "open SGML" Web (where you simply provide the DTD for your specialized document type). But why would you need browser customization? If IDML is truly intended to be transparent to browsers, and only important to search engines, you might contact several of the search engine companies and find out how they might be able to work with you on a solution that works within the rest of the Web. It could be a selling point for them. You've obviously done that on the Identify site, but wider utility would not require the custom Java agent or any specialized searcher; users could use their current search service. Murray [CML] Chemical MIME and Chemical Markup Language (CML) Peter Murray-Rust, <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://www.venus.co.uk/OMF/cml/newintro/ ``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````` Murray Altheim, Program Manager Spyglass, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts email: <mailto:email@example.com> http: <http://www.stonehand.com/murray/murray.html> "Give a monkey the tools and he'll eventually build a typewriter."