[Accessforall] Thoughts on Metadata
andyheath at axelrod.plus.com
Mon Feb 6 21:25:22 UTC 2012
This may need an agenda item to discuss.
I have an action item due completion end of Feb to list/summarise
Metadata efforts - this may be wrong but is how I understand it right
now anyway. However, I haven't yet taken any action to move it forwards
and its worth explaining why. Let me first state that I am using the
term Metadata to mean "stuff about data" not stuff about people - so
preferences are not Metadata in this usage (not everyone uses this
I've been thinking about what needs doing here and come to the
conclusion that driving anything from the Metadata end in this work is
not the right way to go. My feeling on this is that we should *only* be
building preferences architecture and content (and *some* uses of
preferences) into the basic structure of the standard. I agree
Gottfried's proposed approach to do this on attribute-value pairs each
pair representing a preference is a good way to do it (sorry if I
labelled it wrong) and that any relevant Metadata approach should be
"mapped" *to* that or built on top of it and not the other way around.
Further there are a *huge* range of Metadata schemes out there, all tied
up with the politics of organisations that use them or that make money
from them and its an error to allow the preference work to get entangled
in arguments around those or their politics.
Even further, my thinking is
1. that there will be many schemes/structures built on top of the
preferences and they won't necessarily work together or even factorise
(mathematically I mean partition the space).
2. That all work related to Metadata (and probably all work related
things like device properties) should probably come from or have a
*very* strong relationship with the marketplace - which means vendors of
content and vendors of platforms. Perhaps there should be *some*
influence by the very largest of organisations using Metadata - but this
is very very messy - we would imho really want to get those players on
board not be doing it *for* them. Well they already *are* on-board
aren't they (I'm thinking Cloud4All) ? I don't know what vendors are in
Cloud4all. I don't see any point at all in designing ideal Metadata
approaches that will then be ignored by the marketplace chasing its own
business cases (this *is* what we have been doing for years). We are in
an environment where business cases are moving very fast, particularly
around publishing and I see it as essential that we are working *with*
business cases that are in active use or that vendors are developing
right now. This might mean ignoring existing Metadata schemes completely.
So what would I do ?
a. for now, just ignore Content Metadata Schemes and develop the
preferences (ensuring only that techniques to implement each preference
are available *somewhere*)
b. take those preferences to vendors (e.g. Cloud4All) and develop *with*
those vendors the needed Metadata schemes in concert with their
c. bring those schemes (and possibly parts of implementations) back into
the standards as examples of how the preferences could be used in
particular scenarios (but not the *only* way the preferences can be used).
I hope this makes some kind of sense and I'm happy to elaborate/discuss
on the call or the list.
More information about the Accessforall