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Old 06-14-2017, 01:20 AM   #1
Nabodita
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Arrow Lesser used Dublin Core Metadata and Attributes

Hello

I've been doing a little research for an internal training workshop; I found that several Dublin Core properties are not described in detail in the OPF specification... nor could I find any specific examples of usage. The specification also provides for two optional attributes: xml:lang and xsi:type and I'm having trouble finding usage examples of the latter.

I've constructed the following metadata entries based on my present understanding of the Dublin Core documentation. Any suggestions, corrections (especially corrections!) or links to further reading material would be sincerely appreciated!

The dc:date property
Possible usage:
Code:
<dc:date opf:event="publication" xsi:type="dcterms:W3CDTC">2017-06-14</dc:date>
The dc:type element
I haven't seen this property used in any ebook, yet it seems fairly straightforward..
Possible usage:
Code:
<dc:type xsi:type="dcterms:DCMIType">text</dc:type>
The dc:format element
I haven't seen this used anywhere either..
Possible usage:
Code:
<dc:format xsi:type="dcterms:IMT">application/epub+zip</dc:format>
The dc:language element
This, of course is a mandatory element; in this case, my question is that RFC3066 has been made obsolete, first by RFC4646 then RFC5646... so is this code correct:
Code:
<dc:language xsi:type="dcterms:RFC3066">en</dc:language>
or should it be:
Code:
<dc:language xsi:type="dcterms:RFC5646">en</dc:language>
The dc:source element
I'm presuming that the ISBN of the print book from which the ebook is created might be listed here. In that case, how does the xml:lang attribute refine the value of this property?

The dc:identifier element
This, of course, is a mandatory element but the OPF specification clearly states that the identifier may have an xsi:type attribute but I can't find any other information about this.

Last of all, I've sort of given up on the dc:relation and dc:coverage elements... unless someone could give me an example of appropriate usage, please?

Any suggestions and thoughts sincerely appreciated!

Cheers
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Old 06-14-2017, 12:28 PM   #2
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There may be some help in our wiki Dublin Core

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Old 06-17-2017, 01:54 PM   #3
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Thanks DaleDe, somehow missed seeing the wiki.

I do have another question, though...

It's recommended that the value for the dc:type property be selected from the DCMI Type Vocabulary. Now, the DCMI Type vocabulary has entries like collection, event, dataset, image, text etc. (as read here). Yet the Wiki says that this property is used to describe the document type such as novel, poem, working paper etc.

What am I missing?
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nabodita View Post
Thanks DaleDe, somehow missed seeing the wiki.

I do have another question, though...

It's recommended that the value for the dc:type property be selected from the DCMI Type Vocabulary. Now, the DCMI Type vocabulary has entries like collection, event, dataset, image, text etc. (as read here). Yet the Wiki says that this property is used to describe the document type such as novel, poem, working paper etc.

What am I missing?
The DC is not oriented toward ePub books. The type in the wiki or oriented toward books but in general they are the same sorts of things.

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Old 06-19-2017, 01:50 PM   #5
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FWIW, only a subset of the Dublin Core has been selected for use inside epubs. That set varies from epub "2" to epub "3.0" to what is the latest epub "3.1" spec.

You really have to read the detailed epub specs to find out the exact subset, attributes allowed, extensions, etc.

For example: Here is the latest epub "3.1" spec for metadata:

http://www.idpf.org/epub/31/spec/epu...c-pkg-metadata

Here is the epub 3.0 spec:

http://www.idpf.org/epub/301/spec/ep...-metadata-elem

And the same for the epub2 spec:

http://www.idpf.org/epub/20/spec/OPF...htm#Section2.2

Whereas the full DC spec is quite extensive and can be much more involved.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:55 AM   #6
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As KevinH pointed out, you really have to go through the OPF specs in detail to know what is supported and what isn't... and believe you me, I've spent so much time going over the OPF spec for epub 2 (which is what I'm still playing around with) that I'm seeing it even when I close my eyes!

So the properties I mentioned are part of the DC subset recommended by the IDPF... and hence the confusion.

I barely know what I'm doing. How am I supposed to teach 3 new boys how to make ebooks? If one of them asks me why the IDPF has defined properties which no one uses or knows about, what am I supposed to say?

Oh, at least I've managed to confirm that I've got the syntax for the dc:date property correct.

Last edited by Nabodita; 06-21-2017 at 02:00 AM. Reason: Update
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:43 PM   #7
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Speaking of 3.1 spec....

I looked at the comments and there was a good thread about incorporating series name and volume # into "collection" and "volume" (or something) and that it had been "agreed upon". Then the draft came out and it was nowhere to be found... Then the thread was summarily closed!

Does anyone have any more intel on if/how the spec is going to officially support Series and #??
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:19 PM   #8
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I don't think it will. I think the spec is now final but I could be wrong.

So you could use a meta tag with property of "collection" or "volume" or some other similar terms from the dc or dcterms namespaces.

The 3.1 spec does allow for multiple dc:title metadata elements. So you could add the collection title as a secondary title with or without a volume or series number.
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:41 PM   #9
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That's too bad

The problem is that without a "standard" way of doing it, there won't be any devices/apps that support the display/use of that metadata in sorting or any thing else.

I guess I'm stuck with using the Calibre metadata which is at least supported by Marvin.

Thanks for your thoughts, though.
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Old 06-22-2017, 01:30 AM   #10
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I have to say I find the EPUB specs absolutely hilarious. They started with an overly complicated and still utterly inadequate spec in EPUB 2.0. They made it even more complicated and still utterly inadequate in EPUB 3.0 and then they rolled back the metadata spec to something somewhat, but not quite similar to what it was in EPUB 2.0 for EPUB 3.1.

And just to put icing on the cake EPUB 2.0 metadata is incomatible with EPUB 3.0 metadata which is incompatible with EPUB 3.1 metadata and EPUB 3.1 metadata while superficially similar to EPUB 2.0 metadata is incompatible with it as well.

Does anyone take these people seriously?
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Old 06-23-2017, 10:40 AM   #11
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Unfortunately, you are more than right. They have been horrible shepards of the epub standard, implementing many backwardly incompatible changes for no real benefits of any kind. They seem to not understand about the user's perspective at all and have dismissed the importance of metadata with very little thought at all.

The only good thing that has come from the epub3.1 spec is deprecating silly non-standard things like the switch statement, refinements, erc, and trying to move the spec closer to what html browsers already implement.

If they had thought things through from the beginning, they would have done that, and everone would have implemented a webkit-like widget and general support for features would have been much broader. And any changes would have been backwards compatible.

The IDPF really is out of touch with how people use, read, and catalog their ebooks. It is a real shame.
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:30 PM   #12
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That is because they listen to companies like Apple instead of actual users. It is not that the issues were not mentioned in the reactions on the drafts of the specs...
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Old 06-24-2017, 04:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxaris View Post
That is because they listen to companies like Apple instead of actual users. It is not that the issues were not mentioned in the reactions on the drafts of the specs...
This.^

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Old 06-25-2017, 12:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxaris View Post
That is because they listen to companies like Apple instead of actual users. It is not that the issues were not mentioned in the reactions on the drafts of the specs...
The ironic thing is that Apple does not follow the EPUB specs either. At this point, I really dont know for whom these specs are written. They aren't written for users, in that, they dont try to address the most frequent problems actual book readers have with the EPUB format. Big companies such as Apple and Adobe regularly create EPUB viewing programs that dont conform to the specs. And that is not even to mention Amazon, which is the biggest and ignores them entirely. So what is the point of the specs? Who benefits from their creation? Why do people spend significant effort on creating them?

It seems to me that the entire EPUB spec effort has pretty comprehensively failed.
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
The ironic thing is <snip>

It seems to me that the entire EPUB spec effort has pretty comprehensively failed.
Yes, Kovid:

You are surely right.

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