[tdwg-tag] Blog: UUIDs may be Dangerous

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Mon Nov 24 09:11:11 CET 2008

And the fourth question is, at what point in a setting up a central  
service that registers and redirects do we realise that we're  
reinventing the wheel and take a hard look at Handles/DOIs?



On 21 Nov 2008, at 14:39, Markus Döring (GBIF) wrote:

> It's funny that nearly all of us consider stable URLs as the best
> option by now, but we still decided to stay with LSIDs during TDWG.
> The main argument for LSIDs during the TAG meeting was indeed a social
> one: they look more stable, especially in printed publications.
> But I have to support Gregor in that initial trust in stable URLs is
> achieved by making the URL look stable. Finally it boils down to a
> management problem, no matter if we use LSIDs, PURLs or whatever other
> technology.
> To get forward with this everlasting discussion:
> Is there anyone left who would feel bad about moving to stable URLs?
> And as a second question, should we have a central domain that
> registers services and redirects to the resolving service, so that
> people can move their service. Or do we trust the community to keep
> their URLs stable themselves?
> And if we prefer a central service, should we just use DNS and assign
> subdomains for the individual services, e.g. http://rbgk13.tdwg.id/543-544-cfjf3f667
>  or assign paths within the URL to services, e.g. http://guid.tdwg.org/rbgk13/543-544-cfjf3f667
>  ?
> Markus
> On Nov 20, 2008, at 11:09 PM, Gregor Hagedorn wrote:
>> Kevin writes
>>> - ie they cannot be resolved using default HTTP resolution.  The
>>> idea of
>>> using the http proxy version of the LSIDs is a good way to get
>>> around this,
>>> but this does have some drawbacks:
>>> -  1st you really need everyone to agree to use it everywhere,
>>> which is a
>>> bit difficult considering it is not at all part of the LSID
>>> standard, and we
>>> struggle to get "everyone" to do anything
>>> - 2nd, it seems very much like a hack - you might as well just use
>>> permanent
>>> http urls - ie the main advantage of LSIDs in this case is the
>>> "encouraging
>>> a degree of thought before making URIs publically available".  But
>>> we don't
>>> really need to pick up the whole LSID overhead just to achieve this.
>> 3rd: the system is complicated and it is difficult to guarantee that
>> the sequence of reciprocal references is correct and in the right
>> order and place. I believe you would need special validator tools to
>> find errors in the system.
>> And, most relevantly, I believe it will exclude many from
>> participation, because the complexity is a bit scary.
>>> So it seems to me like good old Plain Old URLs are just great!   :  
>>> -)
>>> Or at least the suggestion of REST styled, permanent HTTP URLs as
>>> GUIDs ???
>> I fully agree. I believe LSIDs never were meant to be a technical
>> solution, but rather a technical wedge to hammer in to achieve social
>> change. All the LSIDs really promise are different management
>> practices.
>> As argued in http://wiki.tdwg.org/twiki/bin/view/GUID/CommunityPracticesForHttp-basedGUIDs
>> I think it is sensible to agree on a community agreed mechanism to
>> keep some URLs more stable than others. That could be URLs containing
>> UUIDs, but I would argue for a social convention to agree on a
>> recognizable string marking URLs that should be kept stable as long  
>> as
>> possible and at least not re-assigned. There would be little harm to
>> have a couple of such naming conventions, including e.g. non-english
>> localizations, but one could be:
>> x.y.net/stable-id/something/12317982
>> Gregor
>> -- 
>> ---------------------------------
>> Dr. Gregor Hagedorn
>> Heinrich-Seidel-Str. 2
>> 12167 Berlin
>> skype: g.hagedorn
>> This message is sent on a personal basis and does not constitute an
>> activity of the German Federal Government or its research
>> institutions.
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Roderic Page
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