[tdwg-tag] SourceForge LSID project websites broken - role forTDWG?

Paul Kirk p.kirk at cabi.org
Mon Apr 6 11:02:52 CEST 2009

I think some of the people involved in the LSID discussion will be at the conference and I (for one) will certainly voice my opinion (informed or otherwise) ... ;-)


From: tdwg-tag-bounces at lists.tdwg.org [mailto:tdwg-tag-bounces at lists.tdwg.org] On Behalf Of Roderic Page
Sent: 06 April 2009 09:51
To: Schleidt Katharina
Cc: tdwg-tag at lists.tdwg.org
Subject: Re: [tdwg-tag] SourceForge LSID project websites broken - role forTDWG?

Persistence is much more than a domain name! Most data providers have a poor track record of being online (http://bioguid.info/status ), so it's going to need more than, say, €1000.

CrossRef works in part because there is a commitment to ensure the online content is available (i.e., the DOI when resolved actually delivers content). At present in our community nobody seems willing (or able)  to make this commitment.

As Roger said

	The up coming e-Biosphere conference (June) is billed as an opportunity for the heads of the bigger projects to get together and decide what will happen for the next 10 years. If we are going to be using LSIDs in the future those heads need to agree to fund a DOI-like infrastructure for LSIDs or come out and say they are not prepared to do it. 

I wonder whether they are listening to / aware of this discussion?



On 6 Apr 2009, at 09:15, Schleidt Katharina wrote:

	Hi all,
	I admit I’m glad that this topic does seem to be back in discussion. I’ve been worried about LSIDs from the outset, but did not have the time or resources at the time of decision to do anything about it. Most of this discussion reflects what we’ve been discussing here in Vienna ever since the topic came up. Here an excerpt from a recent mail of mine:
	·        I have never been a proponent of LSIDs. More to the point, I have been against their adoption from the onset. The reasons for this are:
	o   It’s misusing a technical solution as an answer for a social problem. Just because LSIDs entail a list of (quite necessary) requirements such as persistent IDs, dependability of availability of online references, it can in no way guarantee this, it just nicely covers the problem up
	o   I do not see the technology being supported. IBM dropped it, and Cambridge Semantics Inc. also seems to have gone other ways
	o   An example of the lack of dependability of LSID servers seems to me to be the eternal problem with the TDWG LSID Server
	o   I’m worried about a group such as TDWG, which doesn’t have the backup to push through technology development, is going towards requiring all adopters to implement non-mainstream technology in order to maintain compatibility
	We’ve come to the conclusion, as mentioned several times in this thread, that what we really need is the commitment to persistence, and no technology will support us in that. Why waste nonexistent funds sorting out an esoteric technology nobodies supporting; why not just buy a domain, pass a hat and set up a trust fund with 1000€ (or $), and agree to have this domain available over some institution (i.e. university) for the next 100 years. After that, my non-existent great-grandchildren can sort out the rest!
	@Matt: http://www4.wiwiss.fu-berlin.de/bizer/pub/lod-datasets_2009-03-05.html is online again! And a short absence/down-time will happen in all distributed technologies. If anything, I believe that we should worry more about intelligent caching and harvesting mechanisms!
	Von: tdwg-tag-bounces at lists.tdwg.org [mailto:tdwg-tag-bounces at lists.tdwg.org] Im Auftrag von Roger Hyam
	Gesendet: Freitag, 03. April 2009 21:40
	An: Peter DeVries
	Cc: tdwg-tag at lists.tdwg.org
	Betreff: Re: [tdwg-tag] SourceForge LSID project websites broken - role for TDWG?
	If LSIDs are to succeed for the biodiversity community they need a service with long term support from large organisations and projects. 
	DOIs have a business model. LSIDs currently do not. Without a business model (read funding) we should stick to something that doesn't have the implementation/adoption impediment of LSIDs and make the best of it (i.e. just have a usage policy for HTTP URIs).
	The up coming e-Biosphere conference (June) is billed as an opportunity for the heads of the bigger projects to get together and decide what will happen for the next 10 years. If we are going to be using LSIDs in the future those heads need to agree to fund a DOI-like infrastructure for LSIDs or come out and say they are not prepared to do it. 
	TDWG can act as a forum for these projects/organisations to coordinate their actions but doesn't have its own resources.
	I believe this is largely a political problem not a technical one. It needs to be resolved quickly.
	Personally I hope that whatever we end up with is fully interoperable with the linked data movement as they are trying to do more or less exactly what we are trying to do . It may be worth reflecting on the fact that TBL et al are not telling us how to do biology they are telling us how to link data up. That doesn't make them right and us wrong but it is their field and not ours so maybe we should listen.
	All the best,
	On 3 Apr 2009, at 20:04, Peter DeVries wrote:

	I think that the two initial comments are more about poking fun at the messenger than addressing the message, yes web pages have typo's
	and links between sites can be down. The connection problem seems to be on the University of Berlin end, not linked data.
	My point is that this initiative has momentum and a number of enthusiastic followers, where is the momentum and where are the enthusiastic followers behind LSID's?
	One of the standards in linked data is that URI's should not change and they have a number of good recommendations on how to mint them and persist them over time. Some of these would apply to minting LSID's.
	It is one thing to design a standard or technology, it is quite another to get others to adopt and use it.
	You might want to consider who has had more success in developing widely adopted standards Tim Berners-Lee or TDWG?
	I may be relatively new to TDWG and Entomology but I am not new to biocomputing or the issues involved in developing tools or
	techniques that are widely adopted.
	My assumption is that you want to develop a standard that is widely adopted, and that will involve addressing the concerns of potential
	adopters. My main needs involve tying species concepts to observations, environmental and other data. The TWDG standards have
	not been very helpful to me and the reliance on LSID's is one problem. Those implementations that are available do not really work. Does
	uBio deliver properly encoded data? No, at least not always.
	- Pete
	On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 12:54 PM, Hilmar Lapp <hlapp at duke.edu> wrote:

	On Apr 3, 2009, at 1:23 PM, Peter DeVries wrote:

	3) LSIDs increase the implementation costs significantly beyond the costs required for domain registration and a web server.

	I think you'll find plenty of people who will argue that the cost of minting persistent GUIDs is much higher than the cost of a web server and domain registration in any event, and that it might be a Good Thing(tm) if an identifier system doesn't pretend otherwise.
	[...] 4) Tim Berners-Lee feels that LSIDs are unnecessary, and after spending several years looking at this issue I think he is right. Even if TBL is wrong, you have positioned yourself for an uphill battle for adoption.

	He has been wrong before. More to the point, I don't think this has to matter. In 1998 he would have probably said that DOIs are unnecessary. They may indeed be, from a technological standpoint, but from a social and business (sustainability) standpoint they've clearly been hugely successful. So I think the question that matters much more is, is there (or will there be) a similar ecosystem and environment for LSIDs that will make them equally useful. That's what I'm less sure about.
	Also, I think we ought not to confuse one use-case for GUIDs (such as linked data) with the requirements for an identifier system for biodiversity.
	BTW if anyone feels this is a long discussion that has been had before, check out the thread that begins with "registering info: uris" on the Code4Lib list (http://www.mail-archive.com/code4lib% <http://www.mail-archive.com/code4lib%25> 40listserv.nd.edu/) It turns out they struggle with similar questions (and also not for the first time), except in a library context, which might be much closer to a museum context than a semweb research community.
	: Hilmar Lapp  -:-  Durham, NC  -:- hlapp at duke dot edu :

	Pete DeVries
	Department of Entomology
	University of Wisconsin - Madison
	445 Russell Laboratories
	1630 Linden Drive
	Madison, WI 53706
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