[rfc-i] Metadata

Paul Hoffman paul.hoffman at vpnc.org
Tue Sep 25 11:18:27 PDT 2012

On Sep 25, 2012, at 11:12 AM, Dave Crocker <dhc at dcrocker.net> wrote:

> On 9/25/2012 10:46 AM, Paul Hoffman wrote:
>> On Sep 25, 2012, at 10:12 AM, Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor)
>> <rse at rfc-editor.org> wrote:
>>> 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.
>> Fully agree, but that differentiation is irrelevant to 99% of the
>> people who will use the metadata. They care about "can I use this
>> metadata to find the RFC I want" and "can I use this metadata to
>> find the information I want in this RFC".
> So, you think the entry for the word in Wikipedia is inappropriate for
> 99% of the people who use the term?

In this context, yes.

> The fact that most people on the consumer side do not have to deal with
> structural metadata does not justify using the term to exclude that use.

Correct. In fact, no one suggested that structural metadata be excluded for any reason.

>>> 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.
>> To whom? This is a serious question. The RFC Editor should produce
>> metadata that is of the widest value. Producing two unrelated sets
>> of metadata doesn't seem to meet that goal.
> Exactly.  Useful to producers (and designers) as well as consumers.
> This is a standard term of art in computer science (and probably some
> other information sciences.)  Let's not re-define it.

Fully agree.

--Paul Hoffman

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