[OAI-implementers] OAI 2.0? (XML namespaces change request)

Alan Kent ajk@mds.rmit.edu.au
Fri, 1 Mar 2002 10:05:27 +1100

Is OAI 2.0 still planned to be released end of March (or is my
memory faulty)? I am not sure if this is the forum for change
requests, but I have one hopefully minor thing I would like to
see changed. This may be a known issue, but I just hit it in
some code I was writing, so thought I would mail again just
in case.

At present, a separate namespace is defined per verb (GetRecords,
ListRecords, etc). Could this be changed for one namespace for 
an OAI version? I can see no benefit in having one namespace
per verb, and there are real disadvantages when tryiing to
write namespace aware code.

At the risk of preaching to the knowledgable, when you use a
namespace aware tool, the element name is not just the name
in the tag (<record>, <metadata> etc), its the element name
(local name) plus the namespace name. For convenience, some
people write this as {http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/1.1/GetRecord}record
(I might have the namespace wrong, but you get the idea).

I am in the process of reworking my harvester code based on my
better knoweldge and experience with OAI. It turns out my old
program discarded some information that was important - so I
have to recrawl everything <:-(. Oh well. So the new code I
am trying to do correctly with namespaces etc.

The problem I am hitting is that all the full names of elements
change depending on whether its a GetRecord request or a ListRecords
request. I cannot write generic code (easily) to process a
<record> element, because the name is one of


It is not correct to ignore the namespace name, so everywhere
I check element names, I have to check for multiple element names.

With OAI 2.0 coming along, it would make life easier if a single
namespace URI was used for the whole protocol meaning the <record>
full name in both GetRecord and ListRecords would become


Alan Kent (mailto:ajk@mds.rmit.edu.au, http://www.mds.rmit.edu.au)
Postal: Multimedia Database Systems, RMIT, GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001.
Where: RMIT MDS, Bld 91, Level 3, 110 Victoria St, Carlton 3053, VIC Australia.
Phone: +61 3 9925 4114  Reception: +61 3 9925 4099  Fax: +61 3 9925 4098