the iCite net > news / blog > a permalink

news and thoughts on and around the development of the iCite net
by Jay Fienberg

Yahoo video search and RSS media module

posted: Dec 16, 2004 4:37:57 PM

Yahoo has a new Video Search Engine that wants to index info about videos on the web, and wants to encourage web video publishers to put said info in RSS feeds using Yahoo's new Media RSS Module for RSS 2.0 (via Danny Ayers and Marc Canter). Neat and notable.

RSS Media has a couple things that I think are classic examples of how easy it is to be inconsistent with XML. The following quotes are from the spec.


Lists the notable individuals/businesses and their contribution to the creation of the media object.

<media:people role="producer">person one's name|person two's name</media:people>

I don't think there is anything wrong with this element in some practical sense, but aren't there way more official XML ways of making lists? How about:

<media:person role="producer">person one's name</media:person>
<media:person role="producer">person two's name</media:person>

One could also add fields for first name and last name, or use a Dublin Core or FOAF type, etc. And, one could create separate types for each role. But, the main point is that this is a classic problem with XML: there is a conflict of priorities between delimiting fields (using a | to separate a list of people, vs using tags), defining distinct "columns" of data (e.g., people vs person, person vs role), and relating those columns to other models (e.g., namespaces).

One way of dealing with this conflict of priorities is trying to make the most of one or more of the possible structures of XML. The other is to just blob it:


Allows the inclusion of a text transcript, closed captioning, or lyrics of the media content.

It's that "or" that'll get ya! Though, again, practically, it'll work if people figure out how to make it work, so why not?

Finally, one personal bugaboo—a perfect example of hype-induced misuse of the word "taxonomy":


Allows a taxonomy to be set that gives an indication of the type of media content, and its particular contents.

Um, why isn't it called media:taxonomy? Because, it's a category, as in "Allows a category to be set..." Advice from your friendly neighborhood Dr. IA / Mr. Metadata / Conan the Librarian:new applications of the word "taxonomy" should be considered harmful.

permalink | comments {2} · trackbacks {0}

also available as: rss · rss2 · rdf · atom

Comments and Tracbacks

Comment by: Marc Canter ·
posted: Dec 17, 2004 2:15:13 AM

Dude - come onto the list and get your point across.

How's Seattle?

Comment by: Jay Fienberg ·
posted: Dec 17, 2004 2:26:59 PM

Hey Marc! Nice to hear from you.

I've got another couple fish sitting here, that I need to fry, so I going to sit out the development of the RSS Media module.

In general, I've been commenting on how these RSS / XML things are working because people on "both ends" are agreeing to make them work, and not because the formats themselves "work" outside of that "developed on both ends" context.

Seattle is good. Hope you'll do a road show up here some time, and/or I'll see you at some other shindig soon.

Note: All comments and trackbacks are moderated. Spam is deleted. Other comments are approved as promptly as possible.

Note: Older posts no longer accept new comments or trackbacks.

« prev post
New: spammers choice view of this blog

» next post
We at the Seattle weblog meetup

blog newsfeeds

brief content:

 XML  ·  RSS  ·  RDF  ·  Atom 

full content:

 XML  ·  RSS  ·  RDF  ·  Atom 

blog archive

jan · feb · mar · apr
may · jun · jul · aug 
sep · oct · nov · dec
jan · feb · mar · apr
may · jun · jul · aug
sep · oct · nov · dec

jan · feb · mar · apr
may · jun · jul · aug
sep · oct · nov · dec

may · jun · jul · aug
sep · oct · nov · dec

first post: 
April 30, 2003

highlight views:
Spammers' Choice

Jay elsewhere online
Jay Fienberg - the official home page

Wrong Notes - the music blog of the Ear Reverends

Fine & Full, aka, a fine and full burger

Sociomobilepoetextologia (moblog, currently inactive due to lack of proper mobile)

to enjoy roll
sites I like to read when I start from here

· Anastasia Fuller
· Andy Baio
· Biz Stone
· Boris Mann
· Bre Pettis
· Chris Dent
· Danny Ayers
· Dare Obasanjo
· David Czarnecki
· David Weinberger
· Don Park
· Evan Williams
· Greg Narain
· Jason Kottke
· Jim Benson
· Lucas Gonze
· Marc Canter
· Matt May
· Matt Mullenweg
· Michal Migurski
· Nancy White
· Rebecca Blood
· Reg Cheramy
· Richard MacManus
· Sam Ruby
· Shelley Powers
· Tim Bray
· danah boyd

powered by blojsom

Entries by blojsim