MetaDataIntrinsicality

ExperimentalTechnology

In a Wiki, IntrinsicMetaData is stored in the main text of some page, and extracted by pattern matching. Lots of features can be added to a wiki without complicating the edit form by adding intrinsic patterns.

In contrast, ExtrinsicMetaData can be: silently inferred; entered in another field on the edit page; entered on another page entirely. Extrinsic features are usually obvious to the casual newcomer.

Nearly all Wikis have some combination of intrinsic and extrinsic meta-data. Categories are typically intrinsic; last-modified date (and, optionally, IP) are invariably extrinsic. All impermanent meta-data (see UnstableMetaData) will typically be extrinsic, as removing intrinsic text raises issues of deleterious behaviour.

Intrinsicality leads to stable metadata, unaffected by small changes to the body of the page. Extrinsicality leads to metadata that changes with most edits, since the edit fields grab for attention with every edit. Extrinsic meta-data should thus be limited, to keep from overwhelming the editor.

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