[SPEC] Backwards-compatible metadata in Gemini

Oliver Simmons oliversimmo at gmail.com
Wed Feb 24 19:34:15 GMT 2021

On Wed, 24 Feb 2021 at 19:15, PJ vM <pjvm742 at disroot.org> wrote:
> 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.

Very good point, I hadn't considered that.
One way (metadata), it's easier to do, but people that don't use it
will be hidden or mixed in.
The other, everyone is equal, but it's harder to do.

Unfortunately I don't think there's much of a solution to this :/

> 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 combated with
> more conventions, but then metadata conventions would become ever more
> complicated.

Whilst it's true anyone could use any key/values, I would hope that we
are civilised enough to be able to agree on what keys and values we
I'm a contributor to OSM, and their saying goes:
> Feel free to invent new tags! Though it is not "feel free to ignore existing tagging schemes".
Simple. if you start using your own key/value, nothing is going to
support it, so you might as well use what everyone else uses.
BUT, as is obvious with OSM, if we don't get the keys/values organised
**from the start**, we will end up with different ways of doing that
same thing and, and I think anyone would agree, that is awful to work
with. If we get keys/values organised at the start though this isn't
really an issue.

> 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.

Yup, there's not much use to it other than searching, or for linking
documents together (but we already have links to do that, so duh use
Overall it's pretty pointless.

- Oliver Simmons (GoodClover)

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