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On 4/22/05, Razvan MIHAIU <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> To be honest I do not understand what this article propagating. What
> is the revolutionary thing ? If somebody has time, I ask him to drop me
> a line or two about this.
My question to anyone who attended: Why is the "simple single wire
format for data" based on RSS/Atom rather than XML itself? Also, he
keeps talking about a "web for data", but doesn't he mean what we
usually call metadata?
I kinda sortof get the impression from the presentation and the
various blogs I've seen about this that he's suggesting that we stuff
our metadata into the simple, constrained RSS/Atom conceptual model
(ontology?), then use RSS metaphors such as subscribing to channels
and filtering entries to find what we want. The alternatives of
trying to query raw XML with XQuery, or trying to define generalized
metadata ontologies with RDF/OWL seem to have been rejected, but it's
not clear why. Perhaps because they are too complex? But he seems to
be focused on simple as in "easy for the user, with the implementation
details hidden away", so it's not clear that these are any more
complex as infrastructure components than, say, what Google does.
Maybe by not using the metadata word he keeps us from thinking about
the obvious problem with metadata on the Web, which is that it didn't
work in the HTML META tag. We know the hypothesis from everyone's
least favorite article about metadata: people lie, people are lazy,
people are stupid, people aren't self-aware, useful taxonomies are
really really hard to standardize ... and spammers and assorted
slimeballs take advantage of those unpleasant facts to bamboozle the
unwary. Assuming that is an at least partially correct explanation
for the failure of the META tag (and, ahem, the rise of Google by
figuring out how to ignore it), how will some RSS-like simple single
wire format for (meta)data avoid that fate?