Re: What are the problems with IDML?

I've read with great interest the debate over IDML, as well as going through 
the Identify web.  After all the messages that have been sent, I still think 
that Identify has taken a subtlely wrong tack with IDML.

The main thrust of your arguments has been that using IDML instead of META 
tags has been that it has allowed you to standardize how the IDML-style data 
is represented.  IMHO, this standardization would be better approximated by 
standardizing on a set of META NAME attribute values; for example, by 
specifying a prefix of "IDENTIFY_" for the NAME attribute values.

Your own example could then look like (pardon any broken lines due to our 
Microsoft Mail gateway):

     Name="IDENTIFY_HOME-URL" Content="">
     Name="IDENTIFY_PUBLISHER_NAME" Content="Fitness Central">
     Name="IDENTIFY_PUBLISHER_DESCRIPTION" Content="Your On-line passport to 
the World
     of Health and Fitness!">
     Name="IDENTIFY_PUBLISHER_EMAIL" Content="">
     Name="IDENTIFY_PUBLISHER-TYPE" Content="company/small">
     Name="IDENTIFY_KEYWORDS" Content="fitness, athletics, body, shape, 
     Name="IDENTIFY_SUBJECT" Content="health/fitness">
     Name="IDENTIFY_DESCRIPTION" Content="FitnessCentral is the ideal 
vehicle for
     targeting the highly desirable health and fitness demographic.">

Automatic parsing of the CONTENT attribute value could then be accomplished 
by standardizing their format when intended for use in Indentify-compliant 
systems.  For both IDML and META, automatic parsing will be much easier if 
the authors use a smart (syntax-aware) editing tool.

The third major piece to the puzzle -- how to represent multiple products 
per page -- is more problematic.  I can see here where additional tags could 
be useful.  (Though I would not care to download a single page that 
described 600,000 different products in detail!)  I would recommend to you 
the modular HTML DTD work around 
("Modular HTML DTD - Update" message from html-wg) and 
<URL:>, the HTML 2.0 
Modular DTD home page. IDML should be an HTML DTD module, following all 
rules, regulations, bylaws, etc. :) of SGML.
Mark Leighton Fisher                   Thomson Consumer Electronics                   Indianapolis, IN

Received on Thursday, 22 August 1996 09:15:10 UTC