[OAI-implementers] points to ponder

Andy Powell a.powell@ukoln.ac.uk
Wed, 14 May 2003 09:32:52 +0100 (GMT Standard Time)

On Tue, 13 May 2003, Young,Jeff wrote:

> My general solution has been to add '/extension' to the baseURL for any
> application-type verbs. Whether this enough to differentiate it from OAI-PMH
> proper may be debatable.
> I've encountered three cases so far:
> verb=GetMetadata&metadataPrefix=oai_dc&identifier=oai:xyz:123 - to return
> the content of the <metadata> element without the OAI wrapper.
> verb=Redirect&identifier=oai:xyz:123 - to look up the first dc:identifier in
> the record and perform an HTTP redirect to it. (This is in relation to
> another upcoming paper that Thom and I are doing with Andy Powell.)
> verb=FRBRRedirect&identifier=OPAC_ID&isbn=ISBN - to support bookmarklets
> that direct users from a web page containing an ISBN (such as Amazon) to
> their local library's OPAC. (See http://alcme.oclc.org/bookmarks/ for the
> prototype).

Provided these extension 'verbs' are supported at a different baseURL,
then I don't see any problem at all - because you haven't touched the
protocol at all.  What you done is extended a bit of software that
supports OAI-PMH to all support some additional requests at a different
URL (at least, I assume that's what you've done!).

I'm not quite clear Where the original question was coming from, but, for
example, I think it would be much more questionable to invent a record
format called 'fullText' and to then use the protocol to exchange
'resources' (as opposed to 'records').  At that point, one would be using
the 'protocol for metadata harvesting' to do something other than
'harvesting metadata'.

At the moment, the protocol 'does exactly what it says on the tin' (sorry,
that's a quote from a UK TV advert for wood stain) and it does it in
pretty much the simplest way possible given the required functionality.
That makes it pretty easy to explain to people what it does, why it does
it and what it doesn't do.  I have a concern that 'extending' the use of
the protocol may actually make it harder to sell to people (depending on
what we mean by extending - and I may be barking up the wrong tree

> > 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?

One thing I have been wondering about is whether the use of
oai-identifiers is restricted in some way to the use of the OAI-PMH, or
whether they can be used as identifiers for metadata records (or 'items')
in other contexts?

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