[OAI-implementers] OAI-PMH & SOAP
Sat, 2 Feb 2002 15:25:41 -0600
Walter Underwood writes
> Unlike the STARTS workshop, OAI seems to have almost no commercial
> participation. This is unfortunate, because commercial harvester
> technology is far ahead of public and academic technology.
> This is a critical problem, because the primary users of OAI
> will be harvesters.
I think that some notes on the background of OAI
may help to put this into perspective. OAI was founded
as an initiative to foster the interoperability between
eprint initiatives. A harversting protocol and metadata
scheme were produced. The harvesting protocol was later on
"hijacked" as general interoperability protocol by other groups
working in the digital library setting. The OAI group
felt that the protocol could be made sufficiently
general so that it could be used outside the eprints
community, without any loss to the eprints community.
Thus the protocol is not planned as a general harvesting
protocol for general contents.
> "Build it and they will come" simply will not work for this
> protocol. Currently, it is designed by providers, and for
> providers. So only providers will use it.
It is true that there are a limited number of service
providers out there. The stumbling block, in my
opinion is not with the harvesting protocol, but with
the fact that there has not yet been sufficient community
building around rich community specific metadata sets
that would allow the construction of specific user
services. Such a community building is a social
process, not a technical one. Therefore it will
take a long time. But OAI brings the right ethos, and
that is what counts, as far as I am concerned.
I am a member of the tech committee, but these remarks
should be taken as personal.
Thomas Krichel mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org