RDA: Resource Description and Access

Various authors, Joint Steering Committee, Sept 15, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

More evidence that people don't listen to me. (*wry grin*) I have written and spoken about the difference between syntacti standards (which are about structure and how things fit together) and semantic standard (which aRE about meanings). Syntactic standards work fine, because you're not committing yourself to an ontology, world view, religion, science or whatever. Semantic standards fair for precisely the same reason. So when someone says (as does Robina Clayphan in an email) "There is more to creating useful metadata than URIs, schemas and syntax. Rules for creating the *content* of metadata descriptions have an important role to play in ensuring consistency and interoperability," it is exactly wrong, in my opinion.

Well, not just my opinion - I can't think of anyone who believes in unary meanings and essentialists semantics at all any more, except maybe Saul Kripke. And me? If I had any doubts, my reading of Derrida recently has cured me (ah, where was he when I needed him, ten or fifteen years ago?). Anyhow, this link is to "a new standard for resource description and access." but - you may ask - how will we catalogue resources without a semantic standard? That's a good question, isn't it. Begin with resource profiles, and then... ah, that's the subject for another link.
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