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METS  November 2001

METS November 2001

Subject:

Re: Two questions for our next schema discussion

From:

Rick Beaubien <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 7 Nov 2001 14:44:01 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (90 lines)

I'd like to make a slightly belated response to the first issue raised in
MacKenzie's query of November 1.  I am not sure that in MOA2 we decided to
include MIMETYPE as a File attribute because it speeded processing for
presentation purposes; however I think that convenience and effieciency are
good arguments for leaving it there.  While I agree that intellectually
MIMETYPE, SIZE, and CREATED belong with AdminMD, from a practical,
processing standpoint, I think they should stay where they are.  They are
common, useful pieces of information common to all files; and I think it
would be a mistake to force METS users to reference an external,
community-specific schema or schemas to record such common information.  If
SIZE is going to be recorded, and the file element doesn't provide for it,
the METS document is going to need to include at least one techMD element
for each file in the file list.  And if mdWrap element isn't allowed
contain more than one child element the situation is likely to be worse.
Users may end up needing more than one techMD element per file in the file
list to encode all of the administrative metdata that they need.

Because of these considerations, I would actually like to see the
dimensions and USE attributes excised from the MOA2 File element
reinstated.  (X, Y, UNIT, USE).  At least the way our imaging shop works,
dimensions tend to vary from file to file even for images of similar items
at the same resolutions.  As things stand now I think we are probably going
to end up needing a techMD element for each image file (or more depending
on what happens with mdWrap).  This could result in some pretty unwieldy
METS objects.  But I know the argument agains dimensions attributes in the
FILE element is stronger than that against SIZE, because dimensions pertain
to image files only.  But if such common and useful attributes are
OPTIONAL, I have trouble seeing that there's much harm in providing for
them as part of the <File> element.  Doing so may make METS more attractive
to potential users who do not have much interest in or need for adminMD,
but who want to record some common attributes of their files.  It also
makes this common information available without resort to an external
schema or schemas.

This is my current thinking on the subject of file attributes.  Presumably
more discussion will follow next week.

Rick

At 11:28 AM 11/01/2001 -0600, you wrote:
>At 10:14 AM 11/1/2001 -0500, you wrote:
>>1) Why do apparently administrative attributes such as CREATED,
>>MIMETYPE, SIZE, and OWNERID survive in the file inventory, rather than
>>being relegated to the amdSec like the old USE attribute? Is there some
>>philosophy behind the assignment of attributes to the inventory vs the
>>administrative metadata bucket? I know that the CREATED attribute allows
>>for a degree of version control, which is useful in the inventory, but
>>are there similar rationales for the others?
>
>For CREATED/SIZE/OWNERID, it's helpful to think of this in terms of data
>normalization (as in relational databases).  In MOA2, we tried to take
>information
>that applied to a whole bunch of files (storage formats, data capture
>descriptions)
>and put them in a separate section.  That way, you list the information once,
>and have a whole bunch of files link to it.  Putting the
>information in a separate section and having files link to it saves you
storage
>space for the information, as well as ensuring that if the information ever
>needs
>addition/amendment, you only have to do it in one spot.  However, information
>about file creation dates/times, file size, and ownerids are likely to vary
>significantly
>between files; there's therefore no reason to try to separate out the
>information
>from the file element.  You could say that information is all
>administrative and should
>go in the administrative section, but ultimately all that's going to mean
>is taking the
>file inventory section and making it a subsection of administrative metadata.
>
>MIMETYPE, obviously, is somewhat different, as it is something that is shared
>across files.  Rick can correct me if I'm wrong on this, but my
recollection is
>that we put the MIMETYPE attribute on the file element because it made it
>way faster to process that information in a useful way in the MOA2 browser.
>So, no real theoretical justification, just a practical one.



-----------------------------------------------------
Rick Beaubien

Lead Software Engineer: Research and Development
Library Systems Office
Rm 386 Doe Library
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
510-643-9776

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