[tdwg-tag] Blog: UUIDs may be Dangerous

Richardson, Ben Ben.Richardson at dec.wa.gov.au
Mon Nov 24 09:04:59 CET 2008

I favour

* Implementations that play well with others
* Implementations that others will understand, having familiarised themselves with the Semantic Web
* Implementations that are easy (for data providers, in particular)

So I think that means I favour:

* Stable URLs
* A central service that is as stable as possible. Does the use of a DNS for each individual service imply that the DNS may be more fallible as the number of services increases? Does that mean that using paths within the URL is both easier and less fallible? If so, that gets my vote.

Does this preclude LSIDs from being used?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: tdwg-tag-bounces at lists.tdwg.org
> [mailto:tdwg-tag-bounces at lists.tdwg.org]On Behalf Of "Markus Döring
> (GBIF)"
> Sent: Friday, 21 November 2008 23:39
> To: Gregor Hagedorn
> Cc: Kevin Richards; Technical Architecture Group mailing list
> Subject: Re: [tdwg-tag] Blog: UUIDs may be Dangerous
> 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 
> 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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