Posting to Autocat
This was one part of RDA that I always agreed with: reconsidering the GMD. In this case, the solution certainly offers much more flexibility than before, but as so much of RDA, there was little or no concern for its practical impact on the public. When the impacts are positive for the public, I don’t care so much about the impact on the catalogers since they are supposed to be able to deal with it all.
The solution was to come up with terms incomprehensible to the public. That would obviously lead to public outcry, so the solution is now to come up with icons. A lot of them. So, it’s time for the graphic designers to save the day.
Designing icons that are readily comprehensible is not all that simple and in fact, incredibly complex in an internet world where you don’t know how someone has come to your page. They could have come from anywhere in the world, from a completely different culture, and are supposed to understand an icon.
Plus, in the brave, new semantic web/linked data world that we are supposed to be entering [heavenly chorus], you don’t know on what sites in the world your own data will appear or how it will display.
Making icons that people will interpret more or less correctly is extremely difficult. Like so many of the consequences of RDA, it has been left to everybody to decide what to do: to implement or not, how to do it, and how to pay for it.