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Practical Internet Groupware by Jon Udell

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Metadata and Resource Discovery

RFC1807 (July 1995, A format for Bibliographic Records) defines a fielded text format for exchanging bibliographic records in email messages. Here’s part of a sample record:

BIB-VERSION:: CS-TR-v2.0 
          ID:: OUKS//CS-TR-91-123 
       ENTRY:: January 15, 1992 
ORGANIZATION:: Oceanview University, Kansas, Computer Science 
       TITLE:: The Computerization of Oceanview with High 
                   Speed Fiber Optics Communication 
        TYPE:: Technical Report 
    REVISION:: 2, FTP retrieval information added 
      AUTHOR:: Finnegan, James A.

Instead of defining custom headers, this approach extends the metadata capability of Internet messages by defining a structured payload. If you were to write this kind of RFC nowadays, you’d probaby use XML to define the structure of the payload.

RFC1464 (May 1993, Using the Domain Name System to Store Arbitrary String Attributes) takes another approach to Internet-based storage and retrieval of metadata. This document proposes the use of name=value pairs in the DNS TXT resource record defined in RFC1035. There’s more than one way to do things!

RFC1689 (August 1994, A Status Report on Networked Information Retrieval: Tools and Groups) captures the emergence of the Web from a primordial soup of ancestral technologies: Archie, Veronica, gopher, and WAIS.

The experimental RFC2016 (October 1996, Uniform Resource Agents (URAs)) explores the general idea underlying metasearch tools such as the ones discussed in Chapter 14.

Chapter 8, points out that metadata-based field indexing ...

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