XHTML 2.0 Metadata proposals

Maybe I’m missing a trick here, but I’ve just read the XHTML 2.0 proposal
metadata sections and have come away feeling somewhat disappointed. If I
have got this right, the idea is to include a fixed set of new tag
properties to allow specific types of in-line contextual ‘metadata’

Although I appreciate that a primary goal of XHTML is human readability, I
don’t necessarily think that this need follow for the application of
‘metadata’ in XHTML. Hence I consider the addition of a fixed set of
additional tag properties to be somewhat restrictive. Instead – as I have
already briefly discussed with Danbri – I favour a more extensible scheme,
more closely related to cascading style sheets.  Using this approach
multiple metadata properties could be grouped and reused for fragment, or
document, classification and enhancement.

As the term ‘style’ seems somewhat inappropriate when applied to metadata,
I currently prefer to think about collections of metadata for such purposes
as ‘Aspects’. In the same manner as current CSS standards, Aspects could
either be implemented as in-line sections within an XHTML document or
referenced externally. Where XHTML has a specific requirement for the
application of metadata, e.g. <link rel=”index” resource=”../index.htm”/>,
reservation of a specific XHTML metadata namespace would allow browsers to
interpret qualified properties in exactly the same way as fixed tags within
the core language, e.g.


I am currently experimenting with this type of approach to allow
‘functional styling’ and resource aggregation using descriminant
Description Identification (apologies Danbri, if I have incorrectly quoted
the latest terminology for ‘smushing’!)

Phil Tetlow
Senior Consultant
IBM Business Consulting Services
Mobile. (+44) 7740 923328

Received on Friday, 1 October 2004 15:34:59 UTC