[tdwg-tag] Blog: UUIDs may be Dangerous

Gregor Hagedorn g.m.hagedorn at gmail.com
Thu Nov 20 23:09:05 CET 2008

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

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:



Dr. Gregor Hagedorn
Heinrich-Seidel-Str. 2
12167 Berlin
skype: g.hagedorn

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