RE: Sprinkling POWDER on metaTXT

Sounds like you're pouring cold water on metaTXT. Your table of differences is understandably biased in favour of POWDER, so in the interest of fairness I'll throw a few nuggets onto the other side of the scales...

POWDER: Well-formed and highly expressive format, encompassing RDF, but takes a while to compose.
metaTXT: Simple free-form text, uncomplicated syntax, takes just a minute to create.

POWDER: Descriptions can be located anywhere, so there needs to be a discovery process, which could be complex.
metaTXT: Data is always located at the root of the site that it describes.

POWDER: Generic description capability, not intended for just one or a few use cases.
metaTXT: Focussed use case, and includes specific support for mobile entry points into sites.

Would it be possible to get the positives from both sides of the scales? Could metaTXT (assuming it's not planning to "go away") be extended to include a reference to a POWDER equivalent? Could the metaTXT people also be encouraged to devise a translator from metaTXT to POWDER? Given that POWDER is quite generic, I'm not so sure of any hope of translating the other direction, though I can't see how that might be useful.

metaTXT is much along the lines of my earlier comments on these lists regarding robots.txt, WKL (well known locations) and other matters. Of course, at that time I was thinking that perhaps it would be a POWDER resource that would found via WKL. I've since heard all the arguments against WKL and understand the objections. In the market, however, I can see how many existing webmasters would find the idea appealing. So regardless of any intentions of purity on our parts, it might be wise to consider these less-than-perfect ideas and find a way to keep them within reach (maybe not in our field, but certainly not too far from the fence).


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Phil Archer
Sent: 18 November 2008 18:34
To: Public POWDER; Public MWBP
Subject: Sprinkling POWDER on metaTXT


Through Jo, I was put in touch recently with Mícheál Ó Foghlú of the 
Waterford Institute of Technology who is one of the people involved with 
work associated with metaTXT. This is all about helping mobile search 
engines differentiate between mobile-friendly and desktop-friendly 
content. I've spent a fraction of the time I should have quickly making 
a few notes on the differences between metaTXT and POWDER which those 
interested can see at This doc 
includes an example of the contents of a metaTXT file expressed in POWDER.




Phil Archer

Received on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 19:04:10 UTC