[tdwg-tag] Blog: UUIDs may be Dangerous

Donald.Hobern at csiro.au Donald.Hobern at csiro.au
Fri Nov 21 13:37:39 CET 2008

I have much sympathy for the concerns about LSIDs but continue to feel that it would prove a mistake for our community to adopt the kinds of URLs that are being suggested in this thread.

Kevin is quite correct that much of the reason for promoting LSIDs is a social issue that we want data providers to think hard before issuing LSIDs.

I worry however that, even if we deprecate URLs like http://www.my.org/entomology/tomcat/display.jsp?catno=12345 in favour of something more like http://my.org/stable-id/entomologycollection/12345, we are left with the following problems:

1. my.org still needs to step up to the long-term responsibility to handle URL rewriting for these ids.

2. my.org still needs to return data in a standard agreed form (e.g. RDF or OWL) when requested from these URLs.

3. Most important of all, our domain has a long history and information on specimens has value perhaps for centuries - why would we adopt a syntax for persistent long-term identifiers which is so strongly tied to the web and the web technologies of the very early 21st century?


Donald Hobern, Director, Atlas of Living Australia
CSIRO Entomology, GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT 2601
Phone: (02) 62464352 Mobile: 0437990208
Email: Donald.Hobern at csiro.au

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