Re: keyword tag...

Carolyn Pearson (
Thu, 13 Jul 1995 08:53:24 -0700

>>There's been a discussion on html-wg on keyword tags (for building
>>indices or keyword-to-URL references). Does anybody know what the
>>final word is?

>Why not have a DDC or UDC (dewey or universal decimal classification) tag,
>so that authors can self-classify documents - keywords are only a half-way
>house to sorting out indexing/classification.

As someone who spent two years getting a master's in Library Science, I can
tell you that these sort of classification numbers are very complicated. The
result of such a tag would likely be tons of things lumped into very general
categories, because few people will want to take a 3-month cataloging class
to learn how to assign the numbers that go after the decimal point [in the
Dewey system].

Classification numbers are useful in libraries because you are mostly
dealing with physical items that have to be put at one particular place on a
shelf. Since electronic documents can be retrieved from multiple points, it
makes more sense -- and is much easier for the person searching for a
document -- to provide a keyword-type system that allows multiple,
easy-for-humans-to-understand access points. (Libraries do this also, by
using subject headings to provide multiple access points in their catalogs.)
Carolyn Pearson, Managing Editor
Alki Software Corporation
phone: (206) 286-2600
fax: (206) 286-2785