[OAI-implementers] OAI-PMH & SOAP

Walter Underwood wunder@inktomi.com
Sat, 02 Feb 2002 12:28:08 -0800

Six months ago, SOAP was a new technology. Today, every major
software company has committed to it.

I've received two private responses strongly favoring a
SOAP-based OAI protocol.

OAI needs to make a better effort to include people outside of
the library community. For example, periodic postings to the
robots mailing list would seem almost necessary. Postings to
the (closed) OAI-tech list are not an effective way to get input.

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. When metadata systems are developed without
the participation of users, the result will probably not work
well with harvesters. AGLS (Australian Government Locator Services)
is an example of a system which is a very poor match to modern robots.

"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.

Walter R. Underwood
Senior Staff Engineer
Inktomi Enterprise Search