Re: new iafa draft

Jon Knight <> Fri, 12 January 1996 10:12 UTC

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From: Jon Knight <>
To: Thomas Krichel <>
Subject: Re: new iafa draft
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On Fri, 12 Jan 1996, Thomas Krichel wrote:
> >  And once you've done that, its but a short step to SGML style markup...
>   The problem that I forecast for the SGML is that it might be too difficult
>   for the average archive provider to provide the info. 

This I think is a very important point; the big advantage of IAFA is that
it is simple to encode and most people can easily get to grips with it. 
OK, it might not have all the functionality of say USMARC but then you
need to be a trained cataloguer who understands such things as AACR2 to
use USMARC properly.  One things that we'll be looking at in the ROADS
project is how to convert our IAFA style templates (which are slightly
extended versions of the ones in the IAFA draft) in some MARC 
representation(s) (and maybe vice versa).

I've a feeling that all the URC/metadata efforts are going to hit this 
problem where you want to keep things simple for new users but still 
offer a reasonable complete set of attributes (or an upgrade path to 
another format) for more advanced cataloguers.

>   Incidently when the URI group was split I read that Stu Weibel was
>   charged with administering a group that would look into metadata
>   encoding. Later I read from Stu that he simply wanted to make a 
>   draft. Does anybody know what became out of that? 

I don't know what became of that per se, but the URC charter that's been 
chucked about on the URC mailing list last night/this morning (depending 
upon where you are on the planet) seemed to include representations for 
some subtypes as well as defining how to transport URCs over things such 
as HTTP.  Stu of course was also heavily involved in the creation of 
the Dublin Core Metadata set and so I wouldn't be surprised if some 
encoding ideas haven't popped up from that.


Jon "Jim'll" Knight, Researcher, Sysop and General Dogsbody, Dept. Computer
Studies, Loughborough University of Technology, Leics., ENGLAND.  LE11 3TU.
* I've found I now dream in Perl.  More worryingly, I enjoy those dreams. *