[tdwg-tapir] "partial" and "omit-ns" parameters

renato at cria.org.br renato at cria.org.br
Fri Jan 16 00:08:51 CET 2009

Dear all,

I finished almost all changes both in the TAPIR schema and the
specification, except for the new "dump file" capability. Next week there
will be a meeting at GBIF, and since this is one of the things to be
discussed, there will soon be another message here to finally make a
decision. After this, I think TAPIR should be ready for standardization.

I've been also in contact with Markus, who's developing the new GBIF IPT
provider. This will be the first implementation of a provider belonging to
the category "Intermediate". For those who are unfamiliar with this, TAPIR
providers can support different features, so at some point we decided to
define 3 main categories of providers:

* TAPIR Lite: Providers that only support pre-defined query APIs (fixed
set of parameters and output models);
* TAPIR Intermediate: Providers that allow custom filters on a fixed set
of output models;
* TAPIR Full: Providers that allow fully customized responses.

The main reason for the Intermediate category was to remove the burden of
parsing and interpreting output models and response structures. However,
according to the specification, one of the parameters that TAPIR
Intermediate providers need to support is the "partial" parameter. This
parameter is used to point to one or more nodes in the response structure
and force search responses to exclude all other nodes. This feature came
from the BioCASe protocol to retrieve specific parts of huge schemas like

The problem is that all mandatory nodes according to the output model need
to be present in the response, even if they are not specified in the
"partial" parameter. This way we avoid invalid XML, but this requires
knowledge about the output model, which contradicts the original reason
for creating the Intermediate category.

I can see two solutions for this: 1) Specify that the "partial" parameter
only needs to be supported by TAPIR Full, which will make the parameter
specification more intricate. 2) Remove the "partial" parameter from the

Since the protocol already allows different response structures to be
defined and used, and BioCASe doesn't need to use the "partial" parameter 
anymore (to the best of my knowledge), I'm currently in favor of removing
the parameter from the protocol to simplify things - unless this is being
used by some other network (please let me know!).

Markus is also suggesting to remove the "omit-ns" parameter from the
protocol. "omit-ns" is used to indicate that search responses should not
include any namespaces at all. If this is not being used by any network or
client, I also don't mind removing it.

TapirLink supports both "partial" and "omit-ns" parameters. If they get
removed from the protocol I'll still keep them as unofficial parameters in
any case.

Please let me know if you have any feelings about this.

Best Regards,

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