January 2008 metadata proposal discussion
"why not just use rpm?"
Some people have suggested that if any fields are to be added to the current .info file spec, we may as well give up the idea of a simple set of metadata and switch from using .xo/l bundles to using rpms. The latest proposal aims to retain simplicity while capturing information from bundle creators that can easily be gathered and that will be important to those sharing or reusing the bundle later on.
why are any other files required?
Proper attribution and license compliance require a good acknowledgements and copyright accounting. A "Copyrights" file which would not make sense for all bundles, so an "acknowledgements" file is suggested; however either would work for the majority of cases.
A changelog is important in tracking versions and supporting future merging between files and bundles that have been updated during a separation. This is especially important in an environment with spotty network connectivity.
More on this: We don't want to overburden bundle creators with a lot of metadata to maintain. We also want to allow institutions like libraries, NGO's, and universities to add metadata to their collective heart's content. For that reason we have created the optional bib_info file that allows for the library standard Dublin Core format. -- Bryan Berry
A librarian in India developed a system to classify library books, called Faceted Classification.
"A faceted classification differs from a traditional one in that it does not assign fixed slots to subjects in sequence, but uses clearly defined, mutually exclusive, and collectively exhaustive aspects, properties, or characteristics of a class or specific subject. Such aspects, properties, or characteristics are called facets of a class or subject, a term introduced into classification theory and given this new meaning by the Indian librarian and classificationist S.R. Ranganathan and first used in his Colon Classification in the early 1930s." Faceted Classification.
For the long-term ideal of a world-wide library, this system could work better than typical categorization and tags.