Re: Metadata (was: Re: Number, Date, Time, Quantity)

On Sep 8, 2006, at 12:02, Peter Krantz wrote:

> On Fri, 08 Sep 2006 09:48:43 +0200, Henri Sivonen <>  
> wrote:
>> But are the advantages more valuable than the cost of the human
>> effort to put the metadata there? Are the advantages reaped by the
>> same parties who bear the cost? What incentives do authors have to
>> meticulously mark up their documents?
> I am not sure I understand. Are you asking for a general answer for
> all markup situations?

In this case I meant only the markup under discussion, but the point  
is valid for any markup or metadata in general.

> Of course there is an advantage in all cases
> where the author want to use metadata markup. You do it for a purpose.

All too often discussions of metadata is focused on *possibility*  
*expressing* things rather than considering the economics and  
incentives of *actually* expressing things and *consuming* the  

My experience from involvement in a couple of ambitious government- 
funded metadata projects, which involved reading specs from other  
projects, suggests that disproportionately focusing on the  
possibility of expressing things as opposed to the practical  
consumption of the expressions is the direction that all metadata  
specs take unless carefully kept in check.

Moreover, you mention the author wanting to use the metadata. If the  
author uses the metadata within his/her closed system, the benefit of  
a standard is confined to potential availability of off-the-shelf  
tools for private use and incidental effects on the Web as a whole.  
The general search engine argument assumes that the metadata is  
targeted at the public Web from the outset.

Henri Sivonen

Received on Friday, 8 September 2006 10:56:43 UTC