[ogg-dev] The use for an XML based metadata format

Ian Malone ibmalone at gmail.com
Tue Sep 18 05:32:45 PDT 2007

On 11/09/2007, Ian Malone <ibmalone at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 11/09/2007, Daniel Aleksandersen <aleksandersen+xiphlists at runbox.com> wrote:
> > On Tuesday 11. September 2007 01:34:35 Ian Malone wrote:

> > > I'd be interested which ones. DC is a bit nebulous, but that gives
> > > you tremendous freedom too. Atom on the other hand has a very
> > > specific target for the things they describe (but they did take a
> > > very pragmatic approach to their problem from what I understand,
> > > which means they're probably good people to be talking to).
> >

> > The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative are great for describing written
> > resources such as books, web pages, and indeed it would have worked in the
> > case of Atom as well. However it is no good when it comes to describing
> > audio and videos. Mostly because you have no method of describing
> > what 'role' people and organisations had in the production. Which is
> > precisely why I added the poorly defined role attribute to the person and
> > organisation elements.
> DC has provision for qualifiers, there is a proposed 'agent-role'
> <http://dublincore.org/usage/meetings/2002/05/Agent-roles.html>
> which, last time I looked, used the MARC relator list:
> <http://www.loc.gov/marc/sourcecode/relator/relatorlist.html>

> But it is there.  However, no such scheme can reasonably provide
> support for one-of-roles such as 'Othello', this suggests that beyond
> simple role-refinement there are a number of mini-metadata specs
> required here.

Okay, I'm not sure if this is a revelatory inspiration or a crazy idea,
but this morning it occurred to me that what might work is three
degrees of refinement for a role:

1. General.  This would be like the MARC relator list.  If someone
   plays guitar it will say musician.  Doesn't seem satisfactory?
   Go to 2.  This would take us well beyond music alone and I
   think that generality is a good thing, rather than specifying a
   slightly pat and contrived list; 'guitar', 'vocals', 'drums', 'theremin',
   'bowed guitar'
2. Refined.  Where available pick from a given list of possibilities.
   This is where you'd put type of musical instrument for example.
   Options such as 'other instrument' or omitting altogether would
   be perfectly valid.
3. Free form refinement.  E.g the 'bowed guitar' from above refining
   'guitar'.  The more refined you get the less machine readable it
   becomes, but that's okay because you can machine on the above
   refinements and still display the free-form.  Would also specify
   characters.  May use things such as URIs where defined
   categories exist; for example if someone produced a URN scheme
   for all characters in Shakespeare's works.

Any thoughts or criticisms on this?  RDF allows us to specify
the same endpoint for multiple relationships, or we could handle
roles in a more complex way than simple relationships, either
way the above could be made to work.


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