Re: Future of meta-indices: site indexing proposal and Perl script

Roy T. Fielding (fielding@simplon.ICS.UCI.EDU)
Wed, 23 Mar 1994 04:02:39 --100

Larry Masinter writes:

> The fact that we talk about 'meta-information' doesn't mean that it
> should appear in a particular place in the protocol labelled as "meta".

That is correct. However, there does need to be some mechanism to allow
a document author to provide metainformation within the document. For
common metainfo such as Title and Abstract, this is provided by specific
HTML+ elements for that purpose. However, it is quite impossible for the
HTML+ specification to anticipate and define all possible metainfo that
may be desired by all possible authors. Furthermore, there is no reason
why HTML browsers should be required to parse different element names for
each possible metainfo name.

The solution is to provide a single mechanism whereby authors can define
their own names (possibly following guidelines external to HTML) and the
content associated with those names in such a way that they can be easily
identified by programs which are capable of extracting metainformation
from HTML documents. That mechanism is the META element.

...Roy Fielding ICS Grad Student, University of California, Irvine USA
<A HREF="">About Roy</A>