Metadata Principles and Practicalities, Duval, Erik, Wayne Hodgins, Stuart Sutton, Stuart L. Weibel (2002).
This was a pretty straight-forward reading. I did like the Lego metaphor for metadata, but it would be nice if it was elaborated on a little bit more. So, kids have no problem combining space ship Lego parts with medieval castle parts, but just because it is possible to do so, is it beneficial or useful in any way? I understand they are just talking about modularity as a quality at the point, but it also gives the impression that metadata schema, properly constructed, can be mixed and matched willy-nilly.
One thing I have not seen discussed very much is where the line is drawn between metadata and regular data. For example, most schema have some sort of author/creator field. I see how the author could be data describing and article, but if you look at articles in a journal or on a web page, the author is almost always presented along with the body text. A more clear example of what I’m trying to say is an article’s abstract. I’ve see some schema that have the abstract as a piece of metadata, but does that mean it is not part of the data (the article) itself? Or is it both?
It all depends on your point of view. From a database designer’s perspective, all of theses metadata fields are just data, and metadata is what describes the structure of the databaseâ€”field types, lengths, foreign key relationships, etc. I’m not saying that everything should be stored in one big lump. I guess I’m just concerned that depending on the point of view, metadata could mean anything. Really, all of this is just a matter of properly separating different data elements from each other. Obviously author/creator should be a separate field from article body text. And date, titles, etc. should be separate as well. But that doesn’t really separate them from the thing itself, they are still all aspects of the thing.