Thursday, October 21, 2004

Ruby on metadata

Ruby's postulate

    "The accuracy of metadata is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the data and the metadata."

Great! I'll take this opportunity to say something about the problem of actually creating good metadata:

McGrath's postulate:

    "The probability of finding useful metadata is directly proportional to the volume of content creation policies and procedures. It is not a technology problem."

McGrath's corollary:

    "IT people don't do metadata - unless its for source code. Beyond source code, you need to put metadata creation in the hands of content specialists. Otherwises, it simply won't get created. What you will get instead will be more and more abstract models for how to manipulate the metadata if only you had it.

    The latter is a technology problem and technology is fun. RDF anyone? Topic Maps? Yummy, meta models. How about a 'descriptive theory of proper names' conversation over coffee? Have you mainlined any Kripke lately? Or implemented any HesperusIsPhosphorus identity operators in your favourite language?

    Oh, you want to actually create metadata. Sorry, not my field guv."

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