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We need a META schema registry!

From: Andrew Daviel <andrew@andrew.triumf.ca>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 1997 18:53:40 -0800 (PST)
Cc: meta2@mrrl.lut.ac.uk, www-talk@w3.org
Message-Id: <Pine.LNX.3.91.970317183050.27792D-100000@andrew.triumf.ca>
The Web needs a Metadata registry, IMO.

In HTML, many organisations and individuals are starting to generate
Metadata using the META tag without any agreement as to what the
data means. While I applaud the effort to generate useful metadata,
a proliferation of unregistered types is going to dilute its utility 
greatly.

Given that many organisations will want to use private metadata, and that
particular disciplines have their own metadata, a single global repository of
all metadata types is clearly unworkable. 

Proposal:
That a top-level registry be set up at an institution such as W3.org,
which would maintain a list of top-level schemas.

Examples of metadata with schemas and subschemas:
<META NAME="DC.Author" CONTENT="Oscar Wilde">
<META NAME="MCF.versionNumber"> CONTENT="1.3b">
<LINK REL="DC.Author" HREF="http://andrew.triumf.ca/~andrew/">
<A REL="MCF.helpPage" HREF="http://some.org/gxt/help.html">Help on GXT</A>

The schemas DC (Dublin Core), MCF (Meta Content Format) etc.
would be registered with the top-level registry. The organisation
registering the schema would be responsible for documenting it.

Anyone using a registered schema would hopefully have read the
documentation first.

Anyone creating a new schema-less metadata type is on their own - subject
to misinterpretation. Some existing ones are pretty well defined, though:

HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh"  - Document reload with optional URL
NAME="Description"    - Document description for search engines
NAME="Keywords"       - Additional keywords for search engines
NAME="Robots"         - automated agent control
NAME="Generator"      - Added automatically by publishing tools

others aren't so well defined, e.g. "Classification"

Andrew Daviel
TRIUMF, Vancouver Webpages
Received on Monday, 17 March 1997 21:54:21 GMT

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