[tdwg-guid] First step in implementing LSIDs
WEITZMAN at si.edu
Wed Jun 6 02:52:34 CEST 2007
As a taxonomist/systematist/informaticist, I do not particularly care what route we take, only that it should work as seamlessly as possible to meet the USERS' needs. That is why I described the taxonomists' needs the way I did--very few taxonomists care what, why, or how (count me as one of the few wanting to know what route, why and how to implement) but they certainly want it to work. We need to provide what will seem to them as magic. Taxonomists are not the only users--but I don't think that the seamless issue is very different across the board.
We need to sort this out and provide unambiguous instructions as to how to implement. IF TDWG's role is standards and not implementation (I'm not sure that's wholly true, but if it is) then you computer scientists should come to a consensus as to the best route for implementation. If that doesn't happen (and I'm not sure that it will based on progress so far) then GBIF as the Global Implementing Body needs to weigh in and tell us how to make this work--otherwise GBIF (and TDWG) are going to fail the world (as taxonomists have been failing for years) again in provision of information.
There are some VERY smart computer scientists looking at this. But this is not a research project--it is real life and we need a working solution ASAP so we can build applications using TDWG standards and move forward to meet the needs of the future of our planet!
Anna L. Weitzman, PhD
Botanical and Biodiversity Informatics Research
National Museum of Natural History
weitzman at si.edu
From: tdwg-guid-bounces at lists.tdwg.org on behalf of Kevin Richards
Sent: Tue 05-Jun-07 6:51 PM
To: r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk; jbest at brit.org; Chuck.Miller at mobot.org
Cc: tdwg-guid at lists.tdwg.org; Weitzman, Anna
Subject: RE: [tdwg-guid] First step in implementing LSIDs
I agree with Jason. It is not the GUID that is the cause of all the problems here - THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH LSIDS - we just need to move on and start using them in our own context (or any other suitable GUID - LSIDs are only the recommended GUID, NOT the only premissable GUID).
If it all falls to pieces later on we could just do a search and replace to change all our GUIDs to some other scheme (to quote Bob, just serious).
I agree, it is the RDF/metadata/ontologies that are the key to getting things working well.
>>> "Jason Best" <jbest at brit.org> 06/06/07 8:39 AM >>>
I've only had a chance to quickly skim the documents you reference, but it seems to me that the alternatives to LSIDs don't necessarily make the issues with which we are wrestling go away. We still need to decide WHAT a URI references - is it the metadata, the physical object etc? URIs don't explicitly require persistance, while LSIDs do so I see that as a positive for adopting a standard GUID that is explicit in that regard. I think the TDWG effort to spec an HTTP proxy for LSIDs makes it clear that the technical hurdles of implementing an LSID resolver (SVR records, new protocol, client limitations etc) are a bit cumbersome, but I don't think the underlying concept is fatally flawed. In reading these discussions, I'm starting to believe/understand that RDF may hold the key, regardless of the GUID that is implemented. Now I have to go read up more on RDF to see if my new-found belief has merit! ;)
From: Roderic Page [mailto:r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk]
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2007 2:10 PM
To: Chuck Miller
Cc: Bob Morris; Kevin Richards; tdwg-guid at lists.tdwg.org; WEITZMAN at si.edu; Jason Best
Subject: Re: [tdwg-guid] First step in implementing LSIDs?[Scanned]
Maybe it's time to bite the bullet and consider the elephant in the room -- LSIDs might not be what we want. Markus Döring sent some nice references to the list in April, which I've repeated below, there is also http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MIS.2006.62 .
I think the LSID debate is throwing up issues which have been addressed elsewhere (e.g., identifiers for physical things versus digital records), and some would argue have been solved to at least some people's satisfaction.
LSIDs got us thinking about RDF, which is great. But otherwise I think they are making things more complicated than they need to be. I think this community is running a grave risk of committing to a technology that nobody else takes that seriously (hell, even the http://lsid.sourceforge.net/ web site is broken).
The references posted by Markus Döring were:
"Cool URIs for the Semantic Web" by Leo Sauermann DFKI GmbH, Richard Cyganiak Freie Universität Berlin (D2R author), Max Völkel FZI Karlsruhe
The authors of this document come from the semantic web community and discuss what kind of URIs should be used for RDF resources.
This one here is written by the W3C and addresses the questions "When should URNs or URIs with novel URI schemes be used to name information resources for the Web?" The answers given are "Rarely if ever" and "Probably not". Common arguments in favor of such novel naming schemas are examined, and their properties compared with those of the existing http: URI scheme.
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