Re: Sprinkling POWDER on metaTXT

Thanks Rotan, some comments inline below.

Rotan Hanrahan wrote:
> Sounds like you're pouring cold water on metaTXT. 

Not my intention at all but I see why you say that.

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? 

I've added these points to the table and referenced your e-mail.

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.

Actually I think it's very possible to go in either noting that some 
data may be lost along the way. I'm planning to build a simple interface 
that will generate both (next week all being well).

> 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).

I'm not naive enough to think that WKLs will disappear any time soon but 
well, I still don't know what algorithm one uses to find the root 
directory of, say, or If people want to 
define a WKL for POWDER then, OK (but don't expect any endorsement from 
W3C towers!)

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

Received on Tuesday, 18 November 2008 19:17:23 UTC