[rfc-i] Metadata

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Tue Sep 25 10:12:28 PDT 2012

On 9/21/12 11:40 AM, Paul Hoffman wrote:
> On Sep 21, 2012, at 11:27 AM, John Levine <johnl at taugh.com> wrote:
>> In article <3DD54EFB-5C2F-4A2B-BC5F-5D1BC1654AFE at vpnc.org> you write:
>>> Greetings again. The -00 draft's discussion of metadata does not reflect the discussion to date. It says:
>>> =====
>>>  RFC 2223 makes no mention of metadata, i.e. ways to indicate
>>>  particular parts of the text.
>>> =====
>>> Metadata is not a way to indicate parts of the text. Metadata is information that is derived
>>> from, or extracted from, the document. The distinction is fairly important to this discussion in
>>> that metadata is currently derived both by hand and by heuristic tools.
>> It's anything that's about the document as opposed to part of the
>> document.  This doesn't exclude information that's also present in the
>> document, but it's quite common to have metadata that's not in
>> the document itself.
> Exactly right. That's why the first part of my proposed definition is "derived from", not "extracted from".
> --Paul Hoffman

We definitely struggled somewhat with the word "metadata" and coming to
any kind of common understanding as to what it meant in this context.
To me, there is a difference between the metadata for which the purpose
is to describe the document itself and metadata that describes specific
content within the document.  Both are metadata, but the intent is
somewhat different.  This is in line with Dave's pointer to the
wikipedia entry.  The distinction between structural metadata (e.g., the
structure that holds a code component*) and descriptive metadata (e.g.,
category of the RFC**) seems useful.

Is that clear, and would that change your proposed definition?


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