Stockholm Metadata BOF
Mon, 26 Jun 1995 14:32:19 -0400

Date: Mon, 26 Jun 1995 14:32:19 -0400
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Stockholm Metadata BOF

URI Folk,

One dimension of the "Whither URI" debate is (for the time being)
rendered moot as illustrated by John Klensin's response to my request
for a slot for a Metadata BOF in Stockholm.

The justifications for rejection are reasonable points, though I was
surprised by the decision, given the support for the idea of a BOF by
Erik Huizer and others at Danvers.

Advancing resource description standards is at the top of the
networking agenda of the library community, and we will be pursuing
this agenda vigorously through a variety of means.  I expect that many
URI participants will want to be involved, and, as others have pointed
out, there are aspects of the metadata/URI issues that are inextricably

My original intention in promoting a BOF was to carry out design work
in small, invitational workshops and solicit refinements from a variety
of other sources, including an IETF WG.  Some of you are aware of the
OCLC/NCSA Metadata workshop held in March of this year (you can find a
link to the final report on my home page:

We will be planning the second workshop soon and welcome your thoughts
on the focus that this conference will take, as well as expressions of
interest in participation.

As John pointed out in a subsequent message, no reason not to hold a 
Bar-BOF in Stockholm, as well, so if you're interested, send me a note.
(or just buy me a drink ;-)


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Date: Sun, 25 Jun 1995 03:48:08 -0400
From: John C Klensin <klensin@MAIL1.RESTON.MCI.NET>
Subject: Re: BOF: Metadata

[unrelated stuff deleted] 

There are several reasons and you should consider the remarks below to
be just the highlights:

* Stockholm is unusual among recent IETFs in having fewer "slots" for
sessions than usual.   As a result, things are very tight, especially in the
applications area.  

* IETF does a very poor job as a research or development operation, even
though it does fairly well (we hope) as an engineering and standardization
one.  It also does much better with the specific and focused than with the
general.   We believe that, at present, "metadata" is just too broad and
research-y a topic for IETF involvement, even at the BOF level (while BOFs
in some areas are still being approved on the basis of "many people might be
interested", we have been approving them in Applications only if there is
significant likelihood that they will lead to Working Groups or some other
substantive action).  

* In addition to the general principle about "no research", it is
interesting that the URI WG has pulled some metadata topics onto its agenda
and has promptly gotten seriously bogged down each time it has tried to
discuss them.   We take this as empirical evidence that the topic is either
too much research or too ill-defined for engineering/standardization action.

If you disagree and still want to move forward with a BOF, I'd suggest that
you prepare a fairly comprehensive set of notes about what you think should
be discussed in an IETF context, what results would be produced, and what
value IETF would add to the many groups and mailing lists that are already
discussing the topic.  You can consider this a preliminary draft of a WG
charter if that is helpful.   Get to Harald and myself and we will consider
a slot in Dallas.  But Stockholm is impossible.


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