[OAI-implementers] Should OAI-PMH over HTTPS be permitted?

Hussein Suleman hussein at cs.uct.ac.za
Thu Feb 17 04:32:48 EST 2005

 > Which harvesters could not easily support HTTPS?

mine :) anything i distribute is meant to be as "dependency-free" as 
possible. historically, LWP has not been the easiest module to get 
working on a variety of architectures, so i don't use it.

if we require every harvester to support HTTPS, this will become the 
first feature that programmers will need to support through external 
code libraries. as such we will raise the "low barrier to entry" 

i agree we should explicitly support HTTPS, but not require it.


Simeon Warner wrote:

> There has been some interest recently in using OAI-PMH over HTTPS [1]. The
> OAI-PMH specification [2] mentions only operation over HTTP, so I think
> that at present HTTP must be used to conform to the specification (and
> this is enforced by the validation/registration site). The specification
> should be explicit about whether the use of HTTPS is conforming or not.
> It would be trivial to extend the specification to permit the use of HTTPS
> as it is just standard HTTP operating over an additional security layer.
> There would be no need to change the semantics or syntax beyond the
> substitution of 'https://' for 'http://'. Permitting HTTPS would have no
> implications for data-providers unless they wished to use the protocol.
> The main implication of permitting HTTPS would be that harvesters would
> have to support HTTPS in addition to HTTP (or else be unable to harvest
> from some data-providers). In many programming environments there are
> libraries that provide seamless support for both HTTPS and HTTP (e.g. in
> Perl, HTTPS comes for free in LWP) but this may not be true in all cases.
> Who is using or would like to use HTTPS?
> Which harvesters already support HTTPS or could easily do so?
> Which harvesters could not easily support HTTPS?
> Cheers,
> Simeon
> [1] http://www.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2818.txt
> [2] http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/openarchivesprotocol.htm#HTTPembedding
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> Simeon Warner                 Email: simeon at cs.cornell.edu
> Cornell Information Science              Tel: 607-254-8605
> 301 College Ave                          Fax: 607-255-5196
> Ithaca, NY 14850-4623, USA
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hussein suleman ~ hussein at cs.uct.ac.za ~ http://www.husseinsspace.com

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