[Clipart] Metadata Discussion

Richard Worth richard at theworths.org
Thu Apr 29 09:47:03 PDT 2004

Nicu Buculei wrote:

> fenix, you forgot to send the mail to the list
> fenix at theopencd.net wrote:
>> Quoting Nicu Buculei <nicu at apsro.com>:
>>> we really need RDF metadata in PNG files? i'm under impression that 
>>> we will use PNG only for preview - as thumbnails, and because of the 
>>> small resolution those images will not be usable beside this scope
>> My impression is 180 degrees anti.
>> We will use PNG's because that's the format most software knows. 
>> SVG's is extremely rare. Not supported by OpenOffice.
> my impression is that we agreed to not take bitmap files unless they 
> are textures inside a vector
I think it's important in such a discussion to make a distinction 
between accepted submission formats and delivery formats.

Submission Formats
At this point (at least to my understanding) the only acceptable 
submission format is svg, with an exception made for bitmaps (jpg, png, 
others?) to cover the use of textures.

Delivery Formats
Bitmap (png, jpg) thumbnails and screenshots on the website are a 
necessity (unfortunately svg support in web browsers is not near good 
enough to have only svgs on the site). As far delivering clip art for 
use, if a user likes a particular piece of clip art in a collection (or 
an entire collection) and wants it auto/pre-converted to a bitmap that 
they can start using without having to download some software to convert 
some new (to them) file format that they've never heard of, then I think 
that's fine. This is especially important as svg support is still at a 
very early stage in a lot of software (as is mentioned above).

Let's not throw away metadata
If we have metadata in an svg file, and then we create a png of it, why 
throw that data away? We're talking about maybe 1 or 2 kb of data here. 
It is information that describes the drawing depicted in the file, 
regardless of whether it is in vector or bitmap format. A small portion 
of the metadata will be changed to reflect the type (ex: image/svg+xml 
becomes image/png) but for the most an image is an image and the 
metadata describes that image.

Thumbnails are important too
I don't see any reason not to include metadata, even in a thumbnail. 
Imagine an RDF-aware search engine (maybe even one on our site). It 
would search through the thumbnail image and find information describing 
that image in machine-readable form. This is a huge step up from 
folder/filename only information, or having the information somewhere else.

- Richard

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