Assuming that Meta's goals and design seem reasonable,
the first order of business
is to gather some interested (and knowledgeable) parties
to specify (first cuts at) the data sets.
Some categories can be abstracted
from existing information systems;
others (e.g., relationship information)
will suggest themselves as we proceed.
Once some definitions are in place,
File Characterization And Conversion
can be written to extract information
from existing collections and indexes.
At the same time, simple tools should be created
to use the information.
Neither efficiency nor elegance are critical
to this effort;
we're just jump starting the system.
The result of these efforts
should be a "proof of concept" set of XML documents
and associated tools.
We can then iterate,
refining the definitions, improving the scripts, etc.
Eventually, if the basic concepts are reasonable,
a useful system should start to emerge.
If the system is sufficiently valuable and convenient,
it will be adopted by the community at large.
Ideally, the entire process
would have the active cooperation
of assorted developers and integrators.
This spreads the workload,
lessens the chance of "losing" needed items,
and may even avoid some politics.
No single organization or individual is required
for the process to succeed, however.
If a package's developer isn't interested in the effort,
the package can simply rely on older technologies
until someone else picks up the task.
-- Main.RichMorin - 16 Jun 2003