[Tdwg-guid] Simple LSID resolver

Ricardo Scachetti Pereira ricardo at tdwg.org
Thu Jun 15 16:15:00 CEST 2006

    Rod, Steve, and all,

    Are you aware that biopathways.org already provides most of the 
features of an HTTP GET LSID proxy you are discussing here? See: 


    The first link above returns unprocessed metadata for machines to 
consume it. The second link provides data, and the third gives the usual 
human readable (html) version of the metadata call. The last one is a 
goodie: it renders the metadata RDF graph as an image.

    If you don't like the path after the resolver, that can be easily 
fixed by tweaking the web server configuration, but then you loose the 
ability to choose between metadata or data. Maybe one could have 
data.lsidres.org or metadata.lsidres.org, but that looks really ugly!!!

    I don't think that that resolver provides the getAuthorityInfo 
method Steve mentioned, but I'm sure it can be easily added if we think 
it is an important feature.

    Not sure if you guys noticed that functionality already existed or 
you are suggesting something I did not understand.

    In any case, I think this thread raised an important issue of 
setting up HTTP GET proxies for LSID.




Steven Perry wrote:
> Hi Rod,
> This is pretty cool.  What language is it in?  What kind of server does 
> it require (application server, apache, etc.)? 
> When I tried to put in an LSID that I knew didn't exist, I got an XML 
> parsing error.  No worries, since this is an early prototype, but I was 
> wondering if you're planning on trapping these kinds of errors and 
> returning an HTTP status code like 204 (NO_CONTENT), 404 (NOT_FOUND), or 
> 410 (GONE), or if you had something else in mind.
> I've also been thinking about an HTTP-GET based LSID resolution gateway 
> that might be exposed as a service.  It could support several additional 
> functions besides (the default) getMetadata():
> getAuthorityInfo :: given an LSID, return information (in RDF) about the 
> authority extracted from the authority metadata
> getData:: might work a bit differently from the spec in that it always 
> sends through HTTP and it tries to set the correct mime type.
> However getMetadata is the critical function and these others may not, 
> upon more reflection, make much sense.
> Given that we want to be able to integrate with existing semantic web 
> apps and tools that can't currently understand the LSID resolution 
> process, I think we'll come to depend upon these kinds of services.  
> They also provide convenience to developers who are working with 
> languages that don't yet have a resolution client API.  It might be nice 
> to work out how such a service ought to behave and present it to TAG.
> -Steve
> Roderic Page wrote:
>> It was good to see everybody who made it to sunny Edinburgh over the  
>> weekend.
>> I've put together a very simple LSID resolver that returns RDF metadata  
>> for a LSID. I wanted something very simple, so all you do is stick your  
>> LSID on the end of http://lsid.zoology.gla.ac.uk/, e.g.
>> http://lsid.zoology.gla.ac.uk/urn:lsid:ubio.org:namebank:2735664
>> http://lsid.zoology.gla.ac.uk/urn:lsid:lsid.zoology.gla.ac.uk: 
>> predicate:isBasionymOf
>> It's far from bullet proof, and not as pretty as other resolvers.  
>> However, it means you see the RDF straight away, and if you wanted to  
>> aggregate the RDF for a LSID you could use this to do the resolution  
>> for you.
>> Regards
>> Rod
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
>> ----------------------------------------
>> Professor Roderic D. M. Page
>> Editor, Systematic Biology
>> Graham Kerr Building
>> University of Glasgow
>> Glasgow G12 8QP
>> United Kingdom
>> Phone:    +44 141 330 4778
>> Fax:      +44 141 330 2792
>> email:    r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
>> web:      http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/rod.html
>> reprints: http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/pubs.html
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>> Biologists Website:  http://systematicbiology.org
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