When comparing the METS schema with the MOA2.DTD recently, I realized that
while the MOA2 DTD provides for a TYPE attribute in <div> elements, there
is currently no corresponding attribute for "divType" elements in METS. I
would like to request that an optional "TYPE" attribute be added to the
attribute list for "divType" elements. The TYPE attribute would provide a
means for specifying the category to which to which a division of an object
belongs and of clarifying its role within the hierarchy of an object as a
whole. For example, in the case of a book the root div would be of TYPE
"book"; under this there might be <div>s of TYPE "chapter" and under these,
<div>s of TYPE "page". In the case of a photoalbum, the sequence of div
TYPEs might be: photoalbum, page, photo, photodetail.
I think that the div TYPE could be an important basis for providing for
certain type of functionality in tools that work either directly or
indirectly off of METS objects. Granted, my MOA2 object navigation tools
currently make fairly minor uses of the div TYPE attribute. For example,
the div TYPE is the basis for selecting a style sheet for the presentation
of the descriptive metadata associated with a div. And the TYPE attribute
provides a fallback to the LABEL attribute for labeling a div in the
document "table of contents" when no LABEL is present.
But more importantly, more sophisticated tools in the future could
conceivably put the TYPE attribute to much more sophisticated uses. For
example, a viewer tool might want to make certain image manipulation
functions available for divs of TYPE "photo" in a photoalbum; or it might
want to provide indexed access to the divs of TYPE "entry" in a diary.
Of course, the usefulness of a div TYPE attribute will hinge on there being
some vocabulary control. While this may be difficult to implement across
institutional boundaries, at least within an institution enough control to
make a div TYPE attribute functionally useful should be possible.
Software Engineer: Research and Development
Library Systems Office
Rm 386 Doe Library
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000