Metadata, through tags, has been built into the Web since at
least HTML2. So what percentage of web pages have anything other than
the “generator” metatag spewed automatically and unknowingly by
FrontPage? Essentially zero.
I have hope for incremental breakthroughs like the CMF, which brings a
“Wow, that’s the way _everything_ should be done” response to CMS
cynics. However, it’s still trying to transform a mature, continuous
I think this takes a discontinuity, a disruptive breakthrough. Lately
Rael has been
talking about doing P2P for syndication. P2P could be the kind of
transformative breakthrough for DC and RDF. Without a standard
vocabularly across verticals (music, etc.), P2P will be another thousand
islands, which dramatically lowers the utility. Unlike web pages, which
generally wants content to be broadcast and rendered, P2P wants to
content to be exchanged. This model demands interoperable content.
What more can librarians do to contribute our experience
and insight to the broader software community regarding metadata issues?
Uhh, prevent knuckleheads like me from repeating historical mistakes.
It’s doubtful that a disruptive technology for metadata will come out of
the ranks of librarians. However, if librarians keep an open mind and
don’t fall prey to sacrificing the larger victory by clinging to a
narrow agenda, then they can spot a winner and help guide it to
Many thanks go to Paul and Ken for their willingness, patience,
and responsiveness during the interview process.