W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > February 2003

RE: Proposed issue: site metadata hook

From: Jeffrey Winter <JeffreyWinter@crd.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 08:39:07 -0500
Message-ID: <3A9933B568A24543B6AD9E02C7E6ADA0C1758F@moe.crd.com>
To: "Tim Berners-Lee" <timbl@w3.org>, <www-tag@w3.org>
Cc: <tag@w3.org>

Why limit this approach to just site-level
metadata?  Shouldn't a similar approach be
adopted to bind metadata to any resource 
under the control of the "publisher"?

I can see how this would benefit an RPC-style
gateway as a means of (for example) standardizing 
how to obtain a WSDL document, but what about
REST-style applications where each resource
may (and probably will) have its own specific 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tim Berners-Lee [mailto:timbl@w3.org] 
> Sent: Monday, February 10, 2003 11:02 AM
> To: www-tag@w3.org
> Cc: tag@w3.org
> Subject: Proposed issue: site metadata hook
> In the face-face meeting I took an action to write up a proposal for
> the following potential issue:
> Proposed Short name:  SiteMetadata-nn
> Title:   Web site metadata improving on robots.txt, w3c/p3p 
> and favicon 
> etc
> The architecture of the web is that the space of identifiers
> on an http web site is owned by the owner of the domain name.
> The owner, "publisher",  is free to allocate identifiers
> and define how they are served.
> Any variation from this breaks the web.  The problem
> is that there are some conventions for the identifies on websites,
> that
>     /robots.txt  is a file controlling robot access
>     /w3c/p3p is where you put a privacy policy
>     /favico   is an icon representative of the web site
> and who knows what others.  There is of course no
> list available of the assumptions different groups and manufacturers
> have used.
> These break the rule.  If you put a file which happens to be
> called robots.txt  but has something else in, then weird 
> things happen.
> One might think that this is unlikely, now, but the situation could
> get a lot worse.  It is disturbing that a
> precedent has been set and the number of these may increase.
> There are other problems as well - as well sites are catalogued
> by a number of different agents, there tend to be all kinds
> or request for things like the above, while one would like to
> be able to pick such things up as quickly as possible.
> If, when these features were designed, there had been a
> general way of attaching metadata to a web site, it would
> not have been necessary.
> The TAG should address this issue and find a solution,
> or put in place steps for a solution to be found,
> which allows the metadata about a site, including that for
> later applications, to be found with the minimum overhead
> and no use of reserved URIs within the server space.
> Example solution for feasability
> A new http tag such as "Metadata:" is introduced into HTTP
> This takes one parameter, which is the URI of the
> metadata document.  The header is supplied on response to
> any GET or HEAD of the root document  ("/"). It may also
> be supplied on a any other request, including error
> requests.
> The Metadata document is conventionally written in RDF/XML.
> It contains pointers to all kinds of standard and/or proprietary
> metadata about the site, including for example
> - privacy policy
> - robot control
> - icon for representing the site
> - site maps
> - syndicates (RSS ) feeds
> - IPR information
> - site policy
> - site owners
> The solution only needs to document the hook and the
> vocabulary to point to metadata resources in current
> use.  Vocabulary for new applications can be defined
> by those applications.
> timbl
Received on Tuesday, 11 February 2003 08:39:22 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 15:32:36 UTC