The condensed version

That was a long post back there, so here are my quick high level points countering the notion of meta-crap, which I hope to demonstrate with some scenarios over the next couple days:

1) meta-data on a local, individual scale is interesting enough

2) in many cases, people actually are creating accurate meta-data today

3) even where explicit meta-data isn’t just lying around in the filesystem, meta-data can in some cases be inferred

Comments (4)

  1. .. says:

    While metadata is invaluable and very powerful, it can also be a 2 edged sword.

    Whats worse than no metadata is incorrect metadata. Its hidden, not obvious, its not easily shared unles this is somehow a standard XML schema somewhere.

  2. David says:

    Ok, here is another scenario that you might think about:

    A lot of publishing in science today happens in journals that can be access online (mostly only from within universities). The databases that hold these articles have a VAST amount of meta data associated with this: Author, title, year, topic, abstract, references etc.

    Now, when I work on a specific topic I will download a lot of these articles to my harddrive so that I have them at hand. I might end up with 50+ articles. How are they saved on my harddrive today? As pdf files, and I try to give the good filenames that contain things like author, year and title. But it is a PAIN finding anything from there.

    The genereal feature of this seems to be: I get documents from a server where they are annotated with lots and lots of metadata, but once I save them on my harddrive all of that is lost and organising anything is hard.

    What do you think?

  3. David says:

    Oh, just to add the important point: In these online databases I can get a list of references for every article, click on a link and see that article. These relationships could very nicely be modeled in WinFS, right?

  4. Actually, if it’s a good publisher, you should be able to find the metadata mirrored in the PDF file, which could be extracted by the file promotion service for WinFS.

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