Re: What are the problems with IDML?

Daniel W. Connolly (
Mon, 26 Aug 1996 02:12:52 -0400

Message-Id: <>
To: Jim Taylor <>
Subject: Re: What are the problems with IDML? 
In-reply-to: Your message of "Fri, 23 Aug 1996 21:07:37 PST."
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 1996 02:12:52 -0400
From: "Daniel W. Connolly" <>

In message <>, Jim Taylor writes:
>IDML is already broken into four groups. Three of these groups
>(publisher, info, system) contain meta information that probably belongs
>in META tags or separate documents. This is information such as
>publisher name, location, keywords, robot instructions, etc. Since IDML
>has proposed specific formats for these, then all that's required is a meta
>tag identifying the document as IDML compliant, thus vouchsafing that
>information in the meta tags is in the format expected by an IDML parser.
>Then the information is also available to other parsers that look at meta

From the responses in this thread, I get the impression that folks
are not reading the Distributed Indexing and Searching workshop
report. A lot of work went into that report. Please read it.

In fact, anybody who responds to this thread who hasn't read
pretty much all of is
wasting everybody's time.

For example, it proposes a standard mechanism to do _exactly_ what
Taylor suggests: identify the schema of the metainformation used in a



It is judged useful to provide a means for linking to the reference
definition of a schema as well.  The proposed convention for doing so
is as follows:

<LINK REL = SCHEMA.schema_identifier HREF="URL" >

Thus, the reference description of one metadata scheme, the Dublin
Core Metadata Element Set, would be referenced in the LINK HREF as



>The fourth IDML group consists of product information. This really can't
>be shoehorned into meta tags, but instead of making way too many new
>attributes, the IDML guys could create classes. This allows a number of
>things to work nicely. Span tags could be used to identify existing text:
>  <span class="id-product-name>A Hard Day's Night</span> 
>  <span class="id-product-description>Released on CD in 1988.</span>
>  $<span class="id-product-price>13.47</span>
>(Is this a misuse of span?)

Nope. In fact, this sort of thing was raised at the workshop, but
we didn't cover it. I suggest we extend the meta convention
in the document above to cover classes, as well as meta names.

So it would be:

	<link rel=schema.idml href="http://..../IDML">
	<meta name="idml.publisher" content="...">


	<span class="idml.product-name">lkjsdjl</span>

(and you could use em or b or any other HTML tag in stead of span, if
you like. The key is class, not the tag name)

>Non-visible information such as currency, keywords, etc. could still be
>contained in IDML tags. Obviously many people will want all the
>information stored in one place.  Instead of using the very goofy
>"url-redirect" attribute, they should use the established id attribute to
>identify each product (in place of the part-number attribute) and then put
>a link element in the header:
>  <link rel="IDML" href="whatever">

Another good idea.

>This is a quick spew at the end of a very long day, so it may not be
>coherent or well thought out, but it's certainly more consistent with
>established standard ways of doing these things than the current IDML