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Re: VisibleMetadata

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 17:34:08 -0700
Message-Id: <438888F1-6083-4985-BBAB-C8A06540728C@apple.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org
To: Murray Maloney <murray@muzmo.com>

On Mar 27, 2007, at 5:35 PM, Murray Maloney wrote:

> The Design Principle:
> [[
> VisibleMetadata: Metadata is more effective when it is directly  
> tied to user-visible deta. Invisible metadata is often incorrect,  
> out of date, or intentionally deceptive. For example, <a> is more  
> trustworthy as a cross-reference than <link>. User-visible tags are  
> more trustworthy than <meta> kewords.
> ]]
> The first two statements are assertions that are true when they are  
> true and not when they are not.
> Thus, I do not agree with these statements as a premise for a  
> design principle.
> I cannot agree with the example at all. I have used <link> to great  
> effect and have depended on it.
> Also, <meta> has its place.

Evidence for this principle:

- Search engines originally gave weight to "meta" keywords, but have  
abandoned them because they are so often wrong and dishonest.

- http://www.well.com/~doctorow/metacrap.htm

> That's not to say that I don't feel some sympathy for what you are  
> trying to say here,
> it's just that I can't agree with this design principle as written.
> What problem is this trying to solve? It seems as though this is an  
> attempt to codify
> some practice that is currently in vogue.

Note that this principle is not an absolute, it says "more  
effective". So it doesn't mean you can't have things like <link>, but  
that it's better to combine the user-visible and machine-readable  
information. Do you disagree that it is at all better? Do you think  
it's worse? Should I throw the word "prefer" in there somewhere?

Received on Wednesday, 28 March 2007 00:34:20 GMT

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