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Re: What is source code?

From: Alan <alan_at_erols.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 15:59:32 -0400
Message-ID: <c61b34$6jlm5$1@ID-114862.news.uni-berlin.de>


You can theorize till the cows come home. Here is one dictionary definition.

Subject: [wsdm][UPlat] Metadata Definition from Dictionary.com

meta-data

<data> /me't*-day`t*/, or combinations of /may'-/ or (Commonwealth) /mee'-/; /-dah`t*/ (Or "meta data") Data about data. In data processing, meta-data is definitional data that provides information about or documentation of other data managed within an application or environment.

For example, meta-data would document data about data elements or attributes, (name, size, data type, etc) and data about records or data structures (length, fields, columns, etc) and data about data (where it is located, how it is associated, ownership, etc.). Meta-data may include descriptive information about the context, quality and condition, or characteristics of the data.

"Dawn M. Wolthuis" <dwolt_at_tincat-group.com> wrote in message news:c6132d$aur$1_at_news.netins.net...
> "Laconic2" <laconic2_at_comcast.net> wrote in message
> news:WLWdnRkGdfEknR3d4p2dnA_at_comcast.com...
> > In another topic, the question got raised whether source code is
metadata.
> >
> > There is a way in which source code might be considered "metaprocess".
It
> > tells the compiler what to do, in order that the compiler will tell the
> > target machine what to do.
>
> One can have metadata about processes as well as about data attributes,
> right? The info that an IDE collects in order to generate classes - what
do
> you call that? What do you call a constraint placed on a data field?
What
> if that constraint is specified to a Java compiler instead of a
proprietary
> RDBMS compiler or interpreter?
>
> If metadata is only about data attributes for persistent data, then that
> seems like a very narrow definition, but I prefer a narrow definition to
> none. So, if we were to enumerate some metadata, it would include the
name
> of a field, but not the name of a process? It would include specs about a
> field, but not specs related to a "virtual field"? or related to a virtual
> field and not to a subroutine to aggregate the information for the virtual
> field?
>
> Defining metadata as "data about data" doesn't narrow that down. I store
> all code as "data" -- it isn't any less data than a set of digital films
> would be, right? Metadata is also data. That is why typically data about
> the data that describes data is called "metadata" too. A set of VIEWS --
> are those metadata?
>
> This is a matter of definition, but I think a definition worth pursuing to
> get some common use of it. If source code is not metadata, is there a
> super-type for source code or is it a root concept? --dawn
>
>
Received on Mon Apr 19 2004 - 14:59:32 CDT

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