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DCMI User Documentation Working Group

Breakout Report of the DCMI User Guides Working Group at DC-8


Diane Hillmann, Cornell University (
Allen Maberry, University of Washington (
Mary Woodley, Cal State Northridge (
Diane D'Aoust, Canadian Heritage (
Eric Sharf, CNIB Library (
Makx Dekkers, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, (
Ian R. Cambell-Grant, ICL & Liaison from CEN MMI-DC Workshop,
Andrew Arch, W3 Consulting (Melbourne, Australia), (
Diane Boehr, National Library of Medicine, (
James Steele, Human Resources and Development Canada,

The group reviewed the progress of work since DC-7, particularly the latest draft of "Using Dublin Core," now on the DC website ( Suggestions for change were discussed, among them:

  • changing the order of introductory sections, moving the "syntax" section further down
  • adding language discussing the grouping of elements into "content," "instantiation" and "rights"
  • adding more discussion at critical points

The group reaffirmed the decision to add links to other guides for specific projects, and Eric Sharf agreed to compile such a list, working from a beginning list developed by Mary Woodley.

Additional updating was discussed, including:

  • integration of Tom Baker's ideas concerning the 'Grammar of Dublin Core' in the introductory section
  • adding a section on using DC with other metadata sets
  • updating the Glossary (Mary Woodley is working on this and has agreed to continue)
  • updating the Readings and References section (Eric Sharf has volunteered)

Looking forward to other desirable goals, it was clear that some of the work necessarily waited upon the completion of more technical documentation (primarily concerning syntax and architecture issues). Amy Wells (who was not in attendance), has agreed to draft an updated syntax section as that work is completed. Makx suggested that we needed to move the document from a 'draft' to a 'version,' even though it would necessarily be a work in progress. We agreed that when the short term updates were done (with the goal of the end of 2000), this could be suggested to the Advisory Committee (the protocol here being a bit vague).

In the longer term, we discussed the desirability of moving towards a more sophisticated access model, less reliant on a 'flat' document. Links from the text to glossary terms, from text to supporting documentation, etc., would be helpful. At the same time, the parallel need for a printable version was accepted, and some suggestions were made for accomplishing that (via PDF version?).

It was suggested that we should work towards translating "Using Dublin Core" into additional languages, and after the meeting a volunteer came forward (Guy Teasdale from the Universite Laval) to translate it into French.

Notes by Diane Hillmann