Formal metadata: information and software
Formal metadata information and software
err2html: Making mp's error messages more readable with err2html
Because the error messages generated by mp are
somewhat terse, new users will generally have difficulty interpreting
them at first. With time, these users will hopefully develop
familiarity with the standard and with the typical error messages.
Err2html is a small stand-alone application designed to provide an
enhanced presentation of the error report in order to facilitate
peoples' learning of the standard elements and the error messages
that mp generates.
Err2html is included in the standard packages of metadata tools by
Peter Schweitzer; see
Formal metadata tools and information for platforms supported and
downloadable packages. Linux is supported as well as Microsoft Windows
(95 or later).
Users of Windows may also download just the executable program.
You'll only need the file
Like mp, err2html is run from the command prompt, which is typically
found under "Accessories" in the Windows programs menu. You have to
run mp first, directing its error messages to a file:
C:> mp myfile.met -e myfile.err
Here myfile.met is a metadata record that you have
created using some other software. Run err2html specifying the error
file as the input and redirecting the output to a new file:
C:> err2html myfile.err -o myerr.htm
Then use your web browser to look at the file myerr.htm.
How does err2html help?
Wherever a standard element name appears in an error message,
err2html adds the section numbers from the FGDC standard. Opinions
differ as to the benefits of learning these section numbers, but
some find them useful.
Err2html color-codes the messages that mp has generated:
- Green indicates an informational message such as Upgrade, which indicates that mp has modified an element to make the metadata conform to the 1998 version of the FGDC metadata standard.
- Brown indicates a warning; you should try to understand why mp issued the warning, but it generally doesn't indicate a serious problem.
- Red indicates an error, meaning your metadata doesn't conform fully to the FGDC standard. Note that some errors are worse than others; elements unrecognized or misplaced are more serious errors than elements that are missing or empty.
- Blue is reserved for hypertext links; elements that are recognized by err2html will be linked to their definitions in the hypertext version of the FGDC standard that I maintain.
- A summary of the errors is given at the bottom of the web page that err2html produces.
Err2html understands registered profiles but not less-formal extensions
to the metadata standard. This is because it wouldn't know their "section
numbers" and couldn't link their names to an online hypertext reference
Peter N. Schweitzer
Mail Stop 954, National Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Reston, VA 20192
Tel: (703) 648-6533
FAX: (703) 648-6252