[Tdwg-tag] Why we should not use LSID

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Wed May 3 14:21:02 CEST 2006

Two thoughts.

If we adopt PURLs (or, indeed, Handles, or DOIs, both of which have a  
proper management structure), we still need to sort out metadata, data,  
etc., which means essentially reinventing much of what we have for  
LSIDs. Personally, I've no particular stake in this (having taken a  
devil's advocate position at TDWG-GUID and argued for Handles, just for  
fun), but given we have stuff for LSIDs, I struggle to see why we  
should spend time reinventing this stuff.

I fail to see a logical reason for banning the use of LSIDs in  
ontologies. Let people chose what technology they think works best. If  
they want something that works right now, PURLs (or, indeed, URLs) work  
fine. If people want to use LSIDs, then let them. If existing software  
doesn't handle them, either (a) add support for it, (b) use a proxy  
server, (c) don't use LSIDs. I don't think we should decide what to so  
simply because other people's software doesn't support something that  
(some of us) think makes a lot of sense.

>  If you want to define the genus Rhododendron as being an OWL DL class  
> retrieved remotely then you should probably give it a URL. If you want  
> to define it as a data item then use a LSID.

Please God no. Why would the type of information I'm requesting  
influence the GUID protocol? This just strikes me as crazy.

I really think one should avoid making decisions based on technological  
expediency alone.



Professor Roderic D. M. Page
Editor, Systematic Biology
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University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QP
United Kingdom

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