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(14 Mar 2006,
---++ Introductory Notes The modular nature of Unix and similar operating systems provides great adaptability, but there is a corresponding cost in complexity. By integrating system metadata and documentation, this complexity can be tamed. The Meta Project is a proposal for integrating [[System_Metadata][System Metadata]] with [[System_Documentation][System Documentation]], as a way to deal with the complexity of [[Eclectic_Systems][Eclectic Systems]]. The following links provide an orderly introduction: ---++++ Motivation * [[The_Documentation_Problem][The Documentation Problem]] is an admitted rant, explaining how the documentation for Eclectic Systems is (ahem) broken. * [[The_Metadata_Problem][The Metadata Problem]] is another rant, explaining how the metadata is in even worse shape. * [[Whats_Under_The_Hood][What's Under The Hood]] explores the rationale for Meta, using other complex systems (cars and airplanes) as examples. * [[Eclectic_Systems][Eclectic Systems]] discusses the common characteristics of [[Open_Source][Open Source]] and Unix-derived operating systems. * [[Whats_The_Problem][What's The Problem]] explains why the complexity and variability of Eclectic Systems can lead to maintenance and other problems. ---++++ Background * [[Existing_Work][Existing Work]] looks at some existing systems that already perform Meta-like functions. * [[Intriguing_Ideas][Intriguing Ideas]] looks at some Meta-like functions, found in developmental, historic, and proposed systems. ---++++ Design Documents * [[Design_Goals][Design Goals]] sketches out some abstract design goals for an integrated metadata and documentation system. * [[Meta_Proposal][Meta Proposal]] is a precis of the Meta proposal. * [[Linkage_Types][Linkage Types]] discusses the kinds of linkage information that Meta should be able to handle. * [[Why_XML][Why XML]] explains why Meta is based on Extensible Markup Language. * [[Data_Sets][Data Sets]] is a start at defining Meta's data sets. * [[Data_Flow][Data Flow]] is an overview of Meta's data flow. * [[Why_RDBMS][Why RDBMS]], [[Query_Example][Query Example]], and [[Create_Example][Create Example]] look at Meta's possible use of a Relational Database System. * [[Possible_Questions][Possible Questions]] is a start at a list of questions which Meta should be able to answer. * [[Supported_Software][Supported Software]] describes some of the possible software which the Meta system *could* support. ---++++ Project Status * [[Project_Status][Project Status]] gives a rough idea of the Meta Project's status. * [[Getting_Started][Getting Started]] sketches a plan for "jump starting" the Meta Project. * [[File_Char_And_Conv][File Characterization And Conversion]] discusses the main processes that are involved in bringing files into the Meta system. * [[The_Meta_Demo][The Meta Demo]] is a "proof of concept" implementation of a (small!) subset of the project's goals. * [[Ways_To_Help][Ways To Help]] offers some ideas on ways that individuals and organizations can help to make Meta a reality. -- Main.RichMorin - 16 Jun 2003<br>
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Topic revision: r4 - 14 Mar 2006,
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