So how many metadata standards is too many metadata standards? How many metadata frameworks is too many metadata frameworks? How many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a man? (Seven!)
EPUB has its own share of metadata headaches. On the one hand, you need enough centralized metadata to facilitate reading system presentation of your book to readers. On the other, you need metadata to move the publication through a distribution chain. And even then there are people who want MARC, MODS, JATS and other metadata to facilitate their own processing.
The EPUB specification sort of floats between problems neatly enough, but it’s yet another custom framework that in my experience causes as much confusion as it solves, and leaves me wondering if there were another way to handle metadata, like going all-in on schema.org in a future version.
Continue Reading Metadata Reimagined
One of the cool new additions to EPUB 3 is the ability to include schema.org metadata. Although, in truth, it’s actually two new additions in one… or is that one new addition in two?
The obvious way to include schema.org metadata is in XHTML content documents now that both RDFa and microdata attributes are in the soon-to-be-final 3.0.1 update. If you’re wondering why you would want to do this, think about your book being opened up to indexing by a search engine. Rich metadata in the source sure isn’t going to harm your chances of improving your discoverability.
The less obvious place where schema.org properties can be used is in the package document metadata. The 3.0.1 revision saw the prefix ‘schema:’ reserved for adding this metadata, meaning you don’t have to declare it in an epub:prefix attribute every time you want to use it.
Continue Reading What’s in a schema.org
So, does EPUB 3.0.1 adding both RDFa and Microdata attributes officially qualify it for semantic overload? Are there just too many ways to express semantics:
role, RDFa, microdata and even microformats can all be used.
The answer is probably yes and no, with any fault you might be inclined to find lying at the feet of the W3C where these things are ground out. One of HTML’s drawbacks has been the lack of a standardized way of expressing meaningful information about the structure and content of documents. It’s led to the current proliferation of mechanisms, each of which serves a useful function, but the sum of which invariably makes for confusion.
Continue Reading Semantic Overload
Taking a stroll back into Z39.98 territory has me thinking about the Digital Image And Graphic Resources for Accessible Materials (DIAGRAM) content model, and, more specifically, whether it could be reformulated now that
longdesc appears to have a new lease on life.
Which isn’t to suggest that there’s necessarily anything wrong with the content model we have, or that it’s no longer useful, but working on the A11Y Metadata Project to get accessibility metadata into schema.org, and seeing LRMI already ahead of the game, it seems natural enough that the content model be expressible as native (X)HTML5 for cases when that is necessary. Accommodating more than one way to render information is never a bad thing, after all.Continue Reading DIAGRAM Musings