[tdwg-guid] First step in implementing LSIDs

Donald Hobern dhobern at gbif.org
Wed Jun 6 07:46:56 CEST 2007

Yesterday was a vacation here in Denmark - otherwise I'd have  
responded a little earlier, but I'm glad to see all the comments from  
others.  I thoroughly agree with Kevin, Jason, Rich and Anna.  No one  
here believes that any particular solution is going to be perfect.   
Our biggest need is consensus and the readiness to get going with a  
workable solution.

I do recognise the strength of Rod's arguments.  Indeed, if I were  
building some system for integrating data using semantic web  
technologies, and my only concern was ensuring the efficiency of  
synchronous connections now, I am sure I would adopt HTTP URIs for  
the purpose.  However I remain convinced (as I've stated before) that  
the needs of this community do subtly shift the balance in another  
direction.  We are interested in maintaining long-term connections  
between our objects and have a perspective which goes back hundreds  
of years.  This at least should give us pause over whether we want  
our specimens to be referenced using identifiers so firmly tied to  
the Internet of today.  More importantly, one of the key drivers  
right at the beginning of TDWG's consideration of GUIDs was that the  
community had plenty of experience of URL rot and didn't want to rely  
on everyone maintaining stable virtual directories on their web  
servers to preserve the integrity of object identifiers.

Both LSIDs and HTTP URIs could be made to work for us.  Both are  
totally reliant on good practice on the part of data owners.   
Personally I believe our chances of getting the community to  
consider, define and apply such practices are enhanced by the  
identifier technology being something a little more different and  
distinct than just a "special URL".


Donald Hobern (dhobern at gbif.org)
Deputy Director for Informatics
Global Biodiversity Information Facility Secretariat
Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Tel: +45-35321483   Mobile: +45-28751483   Fax: +45-35321480

On Jun 6, 2007, at 12:51 AM, Kevin Richards wrote:

> 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.
> Kevin
>>>> "Jason Best" <jbest at brit.org> 06/06/07 8:39 AM >>>
> Rod,
> 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! ;)
> Jason
> ________________________________
> 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.
> Regards
> Rod
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 
> ++++++++
> WARNING: This email and any attachments may be confidential and/or
> privileged. They are intended for the addressee only and are not to  
> be read,
> used, copied or disseminated by anyone receiving them in error.  If  
> you are
> not the intended recipient, please notify the sender by return  
> email and
> delete this message and any attachments.
> The views expressed in this email are those of the sender and do not
> necessarily reflect the official views of Landcare Research.
> Landcare Research
> http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 
> ++++++++
> _______________________________________________
> tdwg-guid mailing list
> tdwg-guid at lists.tdwg.org
> http://lists.tdwg.org/mailman/listinfo/tdwg-guid

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.tdwg.org/pipermail/tdwg-tag/attachments/20070606/1579aabf/attachment.html 

More information about the tdwg-tag mailing list