[uf-new] Dublin Core (was: hAudio FN or Title)

Ottevanger, Jeremy JOttevanger at museumoflondon.org.uk
Mon Feb 4 02:47:34 PST 2008


Coming out of lurk mode, I must say that I'm in complete agreement with Andy. Thanks to Jim, by the way, for kicking this one off. When a while back I mooted (rather wrong-headedly, I think) the possibility of a microformat for museum objects, I was considering (and had suggested to me, by Andy for one) using DC or perhaps something like CDWALite as the basis for the class names for parts of it.

I've subsequently rethought the way in which one might achieve the various aspects of what I want to see possible, and the microformat-relevant part of that is clearly capturable using DC. It might, of course, be enhanced by the use of a profile, but the starting point is DC. As Andy says, DC is widely established and yes, Tantek, it is a metadata format that is at present used only in hidden parts of HTML documents, but it would be so much more useful if this wasn't the case - precisely why a microformat would be a big boon. Apart from anything else, one can describe more than one "object" on the page with a microformat, and give it some structure. This cannot be achieved with <meta> elements - or at least I don't know how to.

I recognise that The Process wisely advocates that formats should where possible build upon those that exist already, and that a DC microformat might tread on some toes in this respect by creating classes that overlap with existing classes in hCalendar, hCard and so on. I hope this needn't interfere unnecessarily, there's simply too much to be gained from making this suggestion happen. There is a ton of content out there that could readily be put into a DC microformat. DC Simple may be limiting in some ways, and personally I'd also like to see Qualified DC in use as a microformat (in due course - perhaps we should wait for DC v.2), but there are a lot of contexts in which it would be useful. To me, now, it makes a lot of sense to pull DC out as a microformat of its own and then think about building more specific applications based on it. I don't really know where the citation proposal fits in, but there is certainly more to DC than citations. There are also a large number of people out there already that understand DC, that know its role and benefits and the correct way to use the elements (well, sort of), and that would not need to be sold it in the way that they may need to be sold other microformats. Seems sensible to me to tap into that.

All the best,


PS sorry if this is a little behind the discussion. Could only webmail at the weekend which means HTML format, which bounced.

Jeremy Ottevanger
Web Developer, Museum Systems Team
Museum of London Group
46 Eagle Wharf Road
London. N1 7ED
Tel: 020 7410 2207
Fax: 020 7600 1058
Email: jottevanger at museumoflondon.org.uk
Museum of London is changing; our lower galleries will be closed while they undergo a major new development. Visit www.museumoflondon.org.uk to find out more.
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-----Original Message-----
From: microformats-new-bounces at microformats.org [mailto:microformats-new-bounces at microformats.org] On Behalf Of Andy Mabbett
Sent: 01 February 2008 20:39
To: For discussion of new microformats.
Subject: [uf-new] Dublin Core (was: hAudio FN or Title)

In message <C3C88F71.9B977%tantek at cs.stanford.edu>, Tantek Çelik <tantek at cs.stanford.edu> writes

>>> The main disagreement seemed to be in DC's choice of class names...
>That's only one problem with DC.

You fail to explain why you think DC's class (sic) names are a problem.

>The other problem is that DC itself is more theoretical rather than 
>based on any actual content publishing research/behaviors.

On the contrary: DC is based on a deep understanding of the metadata published by the type of organisations for which (and by whom) it was intiially designed.

>Anyone that wants to look at re-using DC should instead look into 
>helping move the citation microformat effort forward, which has 
>documented DC as one of many previous formats that relate to citations.

DC is not only for citations.

>DC by itself is not the answer.

Before you can assert that, you should, at the least, state which question you think applies.


My above comments not withstanding, more effort towards completing the 'citation' work (and that for several other of the much-needed, pending,
microformats) would be a good thing. If this community does not do it, some other group probably will.

>>> * It re-uses a vocabulary that is largely accepted in the web semantics
>>>   community.
>It's been mostly used to publish hidden metadata in pages that is 
>either ignored or polluted.

If so, a facility for using it on "visible" metadata would be an improvement, would it not?

>  It's not really got much support of tools that support it and do 
>something useful with it

There *is* support and there *are* tools, not least in the fields for which it was intended. It is even government-mandated in some quarters.

>- mostly academic projects.

That's not necessarily a bad thing (after all, HTML was first designed for academic projects!).

>I just wrote up this process FAQ entry regarding "re-use whole-sale"

There is a requirement on the wiki that opinions are marked up as such - see point 4 on:



Folks new to DC might like to read:


and note in particular the distinctions between "simple" and "qualified"
DC, and that the former has just 12 properties:

           1. Title
           2. Creator
           3. Subject
           4. Description
           5. Publisher
           6. Contributor
           7. Date
           8. Type
           9. Format
          10. Identifier
          11. Source
          12. Language
          13. Relation
          14. Coverage
          15. Rights

(By way of illustration, Qualified DC takes a property, such as "date", from Simple DC and makes properties like "date.created" and

A method of applying DC using HTML class names on published data would be 'A Good Thing', and could be used alongside existing microformats.

For example:

        <div class="haudio">
           <span class="audio-title">DigitalPlanet Podcast</span>
           <abbr class="published" title="20071029">29 Oct 07</abbr>

could, using a wrapper class to encompass the item to which the DC metadata applies, become:

        <div class="haudio dc-wrapper">
           <span class="audio-title dc-title">
              DigitalPlanet <span class="dc-type">Podcast</span>
           <abbr class="published dc-date-created" title="2007-10-29">
              29 Oct 07

which could then be parsed by DC consumers, without the need for such consumers to be updated each time a new microformat emerges.

Note, for example, the use of:

        class="published dc-date-created"

in an hAudio; whereas an hReview would have:

        class="dtreviewed dc-date-created"

and an hListing might use:

        class="dtlisted dc-date-created"

Whether such usage is called a microformat, "POSH" or some other term is really a matter of bike-shed colouration.

Andy Mabbett

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