[tdwg-tag] SourceForge LSID project websites broken - Resonatewith Roger

Gregor Hagedorn g.m.hagedorn at gmail.com
Thu Apr 9 17:48:36 CEST 2009

Donald is right that the discussion points in contradictory directions:

1. Some people believe we need a non-http system. This points to DOI or handles

a) Certainly doi is successful in the publishing industry - not as
technology but as business model. If we want DOIs, we get them as
cheap as possible from
http://www.tib-hannover.de/en/the-tib/doi-registration-agency/ - see
mails of 2008-11-25 to 2008-11-26 on this list.

b) Or we can ride piggy-back on the DOI = handles technology. Create a
BOI-handle system using the same software. But as Roger points out,
this is a business model and needs a business model. It is not a
suitable technology solving any problems technologically.

2. Technologically I have not seen any argument why -- with respect to
desiring a RESOLVABLE entity -- a EoL / CoL / GNA / GBIF / TDWG
whatever --  urn:lsid:persistent-identifier.tdwg.org:anic:12345 is in
any ways better than:
http://persistent-identifier.tdwg.org/anic/12345. Yes, in theory,
LSIDs allow for resolving without using DNS, but in practice DNS is
the method, so http://persistent-identifier.tdwg.org/ is the central
resolving point. And I believe you can probably create - in theory
again - a non-DNS-based resolution for parts of http - the only
complication is that this would be an enumerated list  of prefixes,
whereas changing the resolution of urn:lsid can use a single prefix to
hook in.)

http is a core web technology. It is working now and it will continue,
and after that there will be a very wide upgrade path. It is the thing
standard software like CMS, wikis, etc. work with.

I maintain my point, that this being the technical list, we place too
much focus on interaction between large-scale technologies, and ignore
the cost of explaining 99.999999% of biologists to ignore the lsids
they see on their screen and use the lsid-through-http-method instead.
And then, surprise, what people really need to use it a CENTRAL and
HTTP-based resolver. And, surprise, this will show up as millions of
http links in publications, be it PDF, cms, wiki, whatever.

The only thing with http-URLs that I see is wrong is that they are
NORMALLY not properly managed as persistent URLs (link-rot). To create
a multilateral system that fits both humans, the semantic web, and
management practices, we could provide a cooking recipe for

* create a http://persistent-identifier.yourorganisation.tld domain
* make sure it resolves the objects you want to publish there and that
you are prepared to manage the stability of the service over a long
* be prepared that by prefixing you domain with
"persistent-identifier" you make a promise in the name of
"yourorganisation"- Others will monitor how well that promise is kept.
* be prepared to re-assign the domain to a central gbif/etc provider
should your organisation no longer be prepared to maintain the
* set up a content negotiation, so that humans see html, machines see
rdf when they resolve (detailed recipe here...)

If you want the benefits of branding, central resolution and business
model, use a handle technology -- if you want a multilateral
technology, use http?


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