When I see the word “metadata” I usually wince. I know what it means, but I also know that if I tried to use it with a “civilian” then the “sale” is lost before I get anywhere. No wonder line of people business dismiss IT folks when we start talking about things like “the importance of common metadata in enterprise applications”.
I have lately been thinking it might be far more useful to just call it stuff. Metadata is just
“Stuff about stuff, that allows you to do more stuff with the original stuff because you know how it might work with other stuff…”
Language in my opinion is very important in technology distribution, and sometimes the simple (even daft) is powerful.
So its nice to know that I am not alone. Sig, in the post above, points to Jasper Johns, who apparently described “activity” thusly:
“Do something, do something to that, then do something to that.”
Amen Jasper. Amen Sig. Sig has a startup called thingamy which is focused on building enterprise-class business systems by not pre-defining them. Its a very different model from traditional data model first development. Its nice to see that Sig is going to the hair-dresser to have some highlights to stop his object roots showing. What is important now, he says, is the religion of the thing:
“So string is text. Object is Thing. Container is Place. And Tara’s “String? That’s what the cat plays with” could be a thing of the past.”
Cats play with string. Solutions are what I find in test-tubes or cross word puzzles. Objects are something to do with subjects and verbs. And metadata: “its just stuff about stuff”.
Hey Sig here is 30 Meg. Go run stuff, in Germany or China!
cartoon courtesy of gapingvoid.