[SPEC] Backwards-compatible metadata in Gemini

PJ vM pjvm742 at disroot.org
Wed Feb 24 19:16:11 GMT 2021

On 24/02/2021 19:18, Oliver Simmons wrote:
> Someone searching for freely-licenced (etc) documents is going to 
> have a hard time in that case, they would have to go through every 
> document manually to find the license.
> Having it always at the end would be faster for people manually
> reading, and would mean search engines/similar could just be asked to
> filter out licenses they don't want (or do want).

I don't think it would be a realistic expectation that all or even a
majority of authors will be including any given structured metadata
field in their pages. So when searching the whole Geminispace,
restricting a search to results with a certain value for the "license"
field will never be very effective. You have to either exclude or
include results that have no license field at all. In the first case you
don't know what you're missing, while in the second case you get lots of
things you don't want.

Also, some might put license information in a "license" field, while
others might put it in "rights". The license may have multiple different
names and abbreviations. These smaller problems could be combatted with
more conventions, but then metadata conventions would become ever more

Basically, I think a metadata convention is of rather limited use for
the purpose of searching, unless you know that the set of articles in
which you're searching is actually using that convention, and in a
consistent way. And I think it would be hubris to expect most of the
Geminispace to start using such a convention, let alone consistently.


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