[Accessforall] Thoughts on Metadata

Andy Heath andyheath at axelrod.plus.com
Tue Feb 7 09:23:57 UTC 2012


Liddy,

I hear what you are saying. And I know some like the wiki. However

1. The list archives are publicly available at

http://lists.idrc.ocad.ca/pipermail/accessforall/

Perhaps a link could be placed on the wiki ?
A summarised list of arguments/topics from the list would be quite 
useful on the wiki but this imho needs to be done by one person 
consistently from the postings not by each of us.

2. I am putting forward arguments for debate with the hope that 
consensus will emerge about direction with respect to them. My arguments 
are conjecture and are open. I may be wrong. I can see how arguments 
about which there is consensus (or agreement reached *somehow*) can be 
written up on a wiki *after* consensus is reached or summarised *after* 
discussion. Without that they are just my opinion.  I'm not clear how to 
use a wiki for debate.

I don't want to see this process proceed in a competitive style - I 
think we all want the best solution or at least a reasoned one we all 
subscribe to if that's possible to reach. I think its important to all 
of us that we get this right. Clearly there are questions about whether 
and how we deal with Metadata at this point. In the past we stumbled 
forwards on Metadata solutions, put our own solutions up there and were 
ignored by the world. I'm suggesting we do it differently this time - 
but that's up for debate and I'll be happy live by consensus when there 
is one.

Erlend - can't read what you did at the moment as I can't see the wiki 
for reasons unknown.

andy


> I know some people like the ideas to appear on this list but please can
> we make sure that all ideas end up on the wiki. Otherwise I think we
> will have overlapping conversations and end up with a mess!
>
> I am lucky enough to be spending a few days with Eric Miller. I think
> there are major advances in how the web works and what is coming
> available. My discussions with him only increase my feeling that we
> should be organising the needs and preferences as they are discovered -
> that is, they should be defined and we should have a clear 'mapping' of
> how they relate one to another.
>
> Andy has talked about relationships between needs etc. This is an
> important aspect of a need so that I can have a broad wish and you can
> have a very detailed and specific version of that. It is also very
> important so that if your system does not know about the detailed need
> you have, at least it will know that it is a qualified version of one of
> the things your system does know about.
>
> Finally, it lets us be assured that we can always cater for a new or
> more precise version of a need - ie we can have an extensible set.
>
> My understanding of the pairs that Gottfried is talking about then
> allows us to include the relationships in the definitions.
>
> So while I am not sure what Andy is advocating, I ask yet again if we
> can please learn about the needs and preferences by talking to as many
> people as possible who can inform us about what they are, and then can
> we start to organise them, please.
>
> ps - I am putting this on the wiki....
>
> Liddy
>
> On 07/02/2012, at 8:25 AM, Andy Heath wrote:
>
>> 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 definition).
>>
>> 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
>> implementation
>>
>> 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.
>>
>> Cheers
>>
>> andy
>> --
>> __________________
>> Andy Heath
>> http://axelafa.com
>>
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>
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Cheers

andy
-- 
__________________
Andy Heath
http://axelafa.com



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