[OAI-implementers] points to ponder

Hussein Suleman hussein@cs.uct.ac.za
Tue, 13 May 2003 18:20:04 +0200


i am sitting here looking out the window wondering why OAI people are so 
wedded to the idea that we should not use parts of the protocol in any 
way for other purposes ... on the board behind me i have a matrix of 
protocol requirements and i need to name and parametrise the individual 
interfaces ... and i dont want to create new names just to be different 
but past experience says that if i do not, it will be an uphill battle 
against people who believe OAI is not to be tampered with ...

should i use a completely new vocabulary for random access to a 
repository/database/component or are words like "GetRecord" and 
"ListRecords" ok? can the parameters be the same or are "identifier" and 
"set" reserved for OAI-PMH? is the record format strictly for OAI-PMH only?

obviously OAI did not invent remote access to records - all it did was 
popularise and standardise a way of doing it. is it not time we realised 
that the OAI-PMH specifies so much more in terms of DL practices than 
just a harvesting protocol?

precisely where is the line between metadata harvesting and DL practices?

i remember some 3 years ago, when OAIv1.0 was being designed we referred 
to Z39.50 as the "800-pound gorilla" - the protocol that everyone 
supported and you did not openly challenge. is OAI-PMH the new 800-pound 

anyway, just thought i would throw this out for discussion. it seems the 
general forum is announcement-only so this is the only place for discussion.


hussein suleman ~ hussein@cs.uct.ac.za ~ http://www.husseinsspace.com