Re: Meta Tag - proposal (suggestions ???)

Robert Hazeltine (
Fri, 17 Nov 1995 00:51:26 +1000 (EET)


On Thu, 16 Nov 1995, Jon Wallis wrote:

> What about a META element for "subject classification" - using the Dewey
> Decimal or Universal Decimal system?
> classification: to indicate the subject classification of the document
> This would of great use in broad high level searching, obviating the need to
> havw to do low-level content-based searching from the outset, which, in any
> case, tends to return lots of "false-positive" results.
> Class-base searching (using the content field of an element like
> <META NAME="Class" CONTENT="123.4">
> would significantly reduce the problems of homonyms, synonyms, variant
> spelling and different languages.

This suggestion is a bit off the mark, for a number of reasons. I work
in a library and appreciate that what you propose, Jon would solve a lot
of problems. Attempts in the past to get some agreement of what
should be used for indexing and searching have not been very successful,
mainly I suspect because the requirement has been vague and unwieldy and
tried to encompass too much.

There is a group of librarians in the US somewhere (I can't recall off hand)
who have put together a list of meta data called the _Dublin Core_. It's
just too complicated for ordinary, non librarians to handle, and even
they need a reality check as they seem to want to re-invent marc.

On the other hand I do not think it too much for a HTML author to
identify and index/keyword his/her document - pretty much the same as
printed material. Keep it simple so that authors who only need to learn
simple HTML can management to have their documents located more easily on
the WWW.

Leave cataloging to the librarians if they want to put it into a