W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > February 2004

Re: Simplicity of Concept

From: Orion Adrian <oadrian@hotmail.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 15:53:07 -0500
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <BAY1-F27TMVOlwQrpH000003ae9@hotmail.com>

> > comprehend and easier to find.  It is metadata.  So are section 
>headings.
>
>For example, to a designer, and to a magazine or newspaper publisher,
>headings are a way of breaking up long blocks of text, they are often
>styling rather than metadata, and bear little resemblance to what
>is in the text.
>
>One of the compromises in designing a markup language which isn't for
>theoretical linguists is that text, like headings and sub-headings,
>that users would include in the text, even if they didn't style the
>document at all need to be considered as content.  You want to support
>a model in which you can write the document as plain text then mark it
>up.
>

It seems to me that there is this belief that meta data can't be displayed.  
Metadata gets displayed all the time in all sorts of contexts.  An abstract 
is printed, but it's still metadata.  Titles are also meta data and they're 
also printed.  I think it's important to think of metadata as something 
that's important to the creation of the document.  People seem to be wholely 
ignoring it because:

1) They see no benefit to it.
2) All the meta data that people are most likely to use have their own 
elements.
3) There is no simple XML meta language.[1]

For a standards body, the W3C has done a poor job of setting standards.  The 
problem I'm referring to here is that the W3C seems content to let other 
bodies produce profiles for meta data.  Rather than have a standard author 
and description element, those responsibilities have been left to 3rd 
parties.

It is my feeling that for a standard to become popular it must be self 
contained.  I can't need to look at many sites to get the information to use 
the technology.

<meta:author resource="author_URI">Some Author</meta:property>

would work really well and barring that

<meta:property rel="terms:author" resource="author_URI">Some 
Author</meta:property>

would also work as long as "terms" was well defined (specifically by the 
W3C).  If I have to go to a 3rd party it severely complicates things.  First 
off now if I want to make a meta parser I have to understand all the various 
profiles.  This constitues a major problem among developers as they have to 
support all the different profiles.  A single standard makes life much 
simpler.

Though I think for commonly used meta data like author should have their own 
elements as I think it improves usability.  It also allows for more complete 
content models.

While I feel an extension model is important, I also feel that if the W3C 
doesn't bring the core elements into it's standards life isn't going to be 
very nice.

Orion Adrian

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Received on Friday, 27 February 2004 16:34:58 UTC

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