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RE: New cgi script using metadata

From: Steve Thomas <stephen.thomas(at)>
Date: Sat Mar 11 2000 - 11:02:03 GMT
PropheZine Owner wrote:
> Hi:
> I was wondering if you could take a step backwards and explain Metadata.
> Not sure what that is.

Metadata is "data about data" -- that is, in this case, data which describes
some file of information, e.g. an html file, a pdf file, an excel spreadsheet, ...

HTML permits the inclusion of metadata using the META tag in the HEAD section.
This is usually (in this context) ecoded as 

	<META NAME="metaname" CONTENT="some text">

where metaname can be anything you like really. E.g. many people use

	<META NAME="author" CONTENT="Steve Thomas">
	<META NAME="description" CONTENT="This is an email message describing metadata">
	<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="swish; meta data; metadata">

Now, the important thing to note is that the above is arbitrary. To make this
useful to a wide range of users and uses, you need agreed standards about what
metanames will be used, what they mean, and how their content is to be coded.
One such standard is "Dublin Core" -- which is so named because it was agreed
at a meeting in Dublin, Ohio, and is meant to provide a CORE set of names --
not the be-all and end-all, just a core set of elements. Dublin Core is now widespread.

You can find lots more detail from my Bookmarks page at



 Stephen Thomas, Senior Systems Analyst
 Mail : Barr Smith Library, The University of Adelaide, South Australia 5005
 Phone: (08) 8303 5190                                   Fax: (08) 8303 4369
 Email: stephen.thomas@
 URL  :
 ** Unless otherwise stated, the content of this message reflects only my **
 ** own opinion, and not the policy of the University of Adelaide Library.**

 "I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Man's" -- William Blake
Received on Sat Mar 11 06:02:51 2000