[tdwg-guid] First step in implementing LSIDs

Jason Best jbest at brit.org
Tue Jun 5 22:39:21 CEST 2007

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:

(1) http://www.dfki.uni-kl.de/dfkidok/publications/TM/07/01/tm-07-01.pdf
"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.

(2) http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/URNsAndRegistries-50
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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