[tdwg-tag] SourceForge LSID project websites broken - role for TDWG? [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

greg whitbread ghw at anbg.gov.au
Wed Apr 8 16:58:59 CEST 2009

PURL := Technology and likely beyond the reach of many data providers.  LSID is
probably the easy way out because they do not need to be resolved to be useful.
An unresolvable PURL is no PURL at all.  Either way depends on infrastructure.

Right now I am thinking, why not have both? Different clients,
different requirements, different solutions. We do this all the time.
Is there a reason why we should not alias PURL and LSID (or DOI)  as
identifiers for the one resource and join in both games?  PURLs from
providers already committed to LSID and using UUID local identifiers
may end up looking a little strange if not repetitive but there would
be little change in overhead for most providers. For most of us GUIDs
are for external consumption anyway.

For the infrastructure, which may be quite light weight, though heavy
social component, I have gleaned a list of candidate requirements from
the thread:

.   GUIDS are URIs
.   Objects may have more than one GUID (URI aliases)
.   GUIDS are Resolvable. At least for dereferencable URIs.
.   GUIDS resolve to RDF using standard vocabularies
.   Data Provider resolves GUID or delegates authority for this responsibility.
.   Authorities use sub-domains to simplify transfer of delegation
.   GUIDs := <uri
.   GUID classes may be delegated independently
.   Delegate/Provider and GUID assignment must be registered
.   Delegates guarantee to serve provider meta data intact
.   Derivative objects must reference source URI
.   Derivative objects must not present as aliases.

I imagine existing aggregators stepping in to take on delegation of
resolution services and LSID proxies where required. Will they object?


appropriate English idioms:  Cut the cloth ... silk purse ... casting purls ...

2009/4/8 Roger Hyam <rogerhyam at mac.com>:
> General comments on decision making...
> This is a technical discussion list. We are clever techie people.
> Given a challenge of X resources and Y requirements we can come up
> with a preferred list of solutions and probably implement one of them
> with our eyes closed.
> To use a fine English idiom "you cut your cloth to suit your purse".
> We don't have a shared purse so arguments about how to cut our cloth
> will never be resolved. X is undefined and I am not sure Y is that
> well defined.
> I know this is "chicken and egg" in that we need to come up with
> requirements to request a purse  but we really need to have some
> indication that some one will be willing to commit long term resources
> to the common good before we can present a menu of choices for what
> money could be spent on.
> 1.0 developers/year (in perpetuity) gets us a server or two managed to
> support some kind of DNS based SRV hosting or redirect services or
> Handle system with support for some library development and help desk
> stuff.  (Note I am not talking servers or meetings or reports or
> technology and I am talking commitment to pay people to have it as
> their responsibility to maintain the system both socially and
> technically - for the long term!!!).
> Without the indication that some one (a consortium perhaps) is likely
> to formally commit to a minimum of this level of resources we are
> wasting our time talking about resolution mechanisms that are not DNS
> based i.e. variations on the PURL model.
> If we don't have the money to build a walled garden we have to graze
> on the common with everyone else.
> Roger
> (BTW: I am not totally convinced that building a walled garden is the
> way forward but would happily come and graze in it if some benefactor
> would fund its perpetual maintenance).
> On 8 Apr 2009, at 01:40, Donald.Hobern at csiro.au wrote:
>> A few comments on semantic opacity...
>> 1. My examples ("urn:lsid:csiro.tdwg.org:anic:12345") were
>> deliberately transparent (or at least translucent) to make it easier
>> to follow the example, but I would have no real problem with them
>> having a form more like "urn:lsid:bio-id.org:9876:12345".
>> 2. I think a single-minded drive towards semantic opacity would be
>> as quixotic and self-destructive as anything we could do.  UUIDs are
>> nicely opaque, and we could build a DOI-like system which maps
>> individual UUIDs to their current locations.  Such an approach would
>> be painful and an administrative nightmare.  I also suspect that
>> such opaque identifiers would be resisted by most users.  If we step
>> away from such a pure implementation, the alternatives all embed
>> some kind of semantic cues which make the system operate better.
>> The form of a DOI encodes relevant data on the source of the
>> object.  PURLs and LSIDs do the same.  The point with semantic
>> opacity in the LSID specification is that it is not possible for a
>> client to make inferences about the location of data based on the
>> subelements within the LSID.  It is up to the resolver
>> implementations to determine how to return the data.  Once this
>> point is accepted, I would in fact say that the presence of some
>> semantic clues within the identifier text is a good thing.  The
>> clues may for various reasons no longer conform to the reality of
>> how the metadata are managed, but a user may still rapidly glean
>> relevant indications whether an identifier is worth resolving (it
>> may indicate that it relates to a nomenclatural record, or that it,
>> at least originally, was minted by some respected source).  I see
>> such clues as having the same kind of value which has enabled
>> Linnaean nomenclature to persist so long.  My preference for LSIDs
>> would therefore be for them to be like the ones Roger minted for BCI.
>> 3. I also note that this discussion has suggested remarkable near-
>> unanimity from many people in their distaste for LSIDs.  However I
>> fear that the level of agreement would be little higher if we were
>> discussing DOIs, or PURLs.  Some of the objections have been that
>> LSIDs do not fit well with the key technologies of the semantic web
>> and that something more like PURLs would be the right course to
>> follow.  Other objections have related to the semantic near-
>> transparency of many LSIDs or the absence of strongly centralised
>> support with the implication that something more like DOIs would be
>> better.  Both arguments have value, but they point in different
>> directions.  The various identifier schemes make up a landscape
>> within which no identifier scheme represents an adaptive peak in all
>> contexts.  We need to develop applicability statements for how to
>> use several of these schemes as alternatives for biodiversity data
>> and we need to identify the drivers which may guide different
>> providers to different schemes for different purposes.
>> Donald
>> 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
>> Web: http://www.ala.org.au/
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Bob Morris [mailto:morris.bob at gmail.com]
>> Sent: Wednesday, 8 April 2009 2:04 AM
>> To: Roderic Page
>> Cc: Hobern, Donald (Entomology, Black Mountain); Roger Hyam; tdwg-tag at lists.tdwg.org
>> Subject: Re: [tdwg-tag] SourceForge LSID project websites broken -
>> role for TDWG?
>> A few non random comments on Rod's random comments on Donald's
>> proposal
>> On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 11:19 AM, Roderic Page <r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk>
>> wrote:
>>> A few random comments:
>>> Donald wrote:
>>>> InstitutionCode/CollectionCode/CatalogueNumber triple and to the
>>>> three main substitutable elements in an LSID.  Some systems such as
>>>> DOI may obscure the whoGeneratedTheData
>> Rod responded:
>>> This assumes that it's good to have lots of metadata embedded in the
>>> identifier. This level of "branding" might be fine for specimens
>>> (assuming each data provider has the ability to serve their own
>>> data),
>>> but what about shared identifiers such as taxon names -- I suspect
>>> having to "choose a brand" is going to be an obstacle to adoption for
>>> just the identifiers that we most need to share. Identifiers such as
>>> DOIs have less branding (although publishers have managed to attach
>>> branding significant to the few digits after the "10." prefix).
>> Bob cites:
>> "LSIDs are intended to be semantically opaque, in that the LSID
>> assigned to a resource should not be counted on to describe the
>> characteristics or attributes of the resource that the LSID refers to.
>> The users of the LSIDs are permitted to use individual components (as
>> specified elsewhere in this document) of LSIDs - although the LSID
>> component parts themselves should be treated as opaque pieces of the
>> identifier." LSID spec, Section 8.
>> It's regrettable that the LSID spec is so poorly written that it
>> permits the useless term "should". Alas, I suppose that leaves room
>> for argument with my position that LSIDs with embedded metadata are
>> not LSIDs--they are something else based on the LSID syntax.  There's
>> nothing inherently wrong with, oh, say, a Handles implementation based
>> on prefacing LSID syntax with something controlled. See below.
>> Rod remarks:
>>> Note also that DOIs (and Handles) can be queried for metadata, see
>>> Tony Hammnd's OpenHandle project (http://www.crossref.org/CrossTech/2008/10/the_last_mile.html
>>>  and http://code.google.com/p/openhandle/), so we don't need to embed
>>> this in the actual identifier itself.
>> Bob replies
>> DOIs \are/ Handles. This is the (unstated?) reason that
>> http://wiki.tdwg.org/twiki/bin/view/GUID/TechnologyComparison is
>> filled with comparisons of the form  "DOI:   Same as Handles"
>> DOI is an implementation of Handles, with the additional treatment of
>> things about which Handles  is silent . See
>> http://www.doi.org/factsheets/DOIHandle.html  When I read that
>> document casually, I come to the initial conclusion that Donald's
>> proposal is essentially doing the same kind of extension to Handles
>> (possibly a Good Thing if correct), except for allowing metadata in
>> the identifier (yech!).
>> --Bob
>> --
>> Robert A. Morris
>> Professor of Computer Science
>> UMASS-Boston
>> ram at cs.umb.edu
>> http://bdei.cs.umb.edu/
>> http://www.cs.umb.edu/~ram
>> http://www.cs.umb.edu/~ram/calendar.html
>> phone (+1)617 287 6466
>> _______________________________________________
>> tdwg-tag mailing list
>> tdwg-tag at lists.tdwg.org
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Greg Whitbread
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Australian National Herbarium
+61 2 62509482
ghw at anbg.gov.au

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