Eaf element for metadata?

Are PROPERTY element key/value pairs the optimal place to store document metadata? Things like:

  1. names of the speakers
  2. date of recording

For example:
J Smith, B Jones
S Holmes

The metadata_ prefix is arbitrary, a local convention useful during our parsing, producing html from eaf.
Thank you!

  • Paul Shannon

My sample markup got obscured. Trying again.

< PROPERTY NAME=“metadata_name”> Jane Doe, Joe Smith </PROPERTY>

< PROPERTY NAME=“metadata_date”> 10/26/2014 </PROPERTY>

Yes, I guess so, this is the only generic key/value element, one without a very specific purpose.

The EAF format evolved in an environment where a rather strict separation of annotation data and metadata was maintained (where it isn’t always unambiguous what is metadata and what not). For metadata IMDI and later CMDI were promoted and the things you mention (personal data, date of recording etc.) would typically be stored in a metadata record (e.g. using a tool like Arbil).

The PROPERTY element was introduced as a kind of compromise to be able to store e.g. information from an imported file format so that it is not lost when the data is exported back to that format again after processing in ELAN.

So, if you want to store that kind of information inside EAF, the PROPERTY element can be used for it, but it might be better to store that information elsewhere (and maybe link that metadata file as a linked file).


Belated thanks for your reply. I have ~100 Tlingit conversations to convert from eaf + video into web pages, so many instances of small metadata. We will be looking for a user-friendly way, maybe Arbil, or perhaps our home-grown YAML-to-CMDI-to-html converter, trying to fit with the existing practices you describe, yet minimize effort for users.

I don’t know if this will be of general interest, so I mention it here briefly. We have an open source project, “slexil” which does roughly what CuPED used to - updated to HTML5 audio and video players. Would this be of interest to anyone in the community beyond ourselves?

Thanks, I think it’s useful to mention that here.
SLEXIL also has an entry on ELAN’s Third-Party Resources page; I guess it’s good if there are multiple ways for community members to learn about available related tools.