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Re: identifier to use

From: Phillip Lord <phillip.lord@newcastle.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 17:20:46 +0100
To: Eric Jain <Eric.Jain@isb-sib.ch>
Cc: Hilmar Lapp <hlapp@duke.edu>, public-semweb-lifesci hcls <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
Message-ID: <ur6lvsfq9.fsf@newcastle.ac.uk>

>>>>> "EJ" == Eric Jain <Eric.Jain@isb-sib.ch> writes:

  EJ> I guess that could happen... Do you have some examples of
  EJ> domain-specific standards that became de-facto standards, supported by
  EJ> generic tools etc?

The web leaps to mind. Remember that? 


  >> As for being limited to a domain or not, would the LSID mechanism be more
  >> appealing if it read urn:guid:foo.org:Foo:12345? There's nothing in the
  >> LSID spec that makes it LS-specific, or due to which it make no sense
  >> outside of the LS.

  EJ> You're right, from a technical point of view, it's not
  EJ> domain-specific. But if no one else is using it, doesn't that make it
  EJ> de-facto domain-specific?

Actually, LSIDs are domain specific, or rather they were designed to support
the needs of the Life Sciences; this is not to say that different domains do
not have the same needs. 

Look at DOIs and LSIDs. They are different, they emphasise different
things. LSIDs are based around a set of objects which potentially might be
very large and which might exist in many versions. So LSIDs have two-step
multi-protocol resolution. They have version numbers integrated. They exist
in a world where services disappear. So LSIDs have a fail over mechanism. 

DOIs are based around the stable, large organisations giving out the DOIs,
hence they have a heavy weight assignment (possibly involving cash). They are
based around small resources, mostly of the size that people can read, without
necessity for many, many versions. 

Conclusion: LSID and DOI are NOT domain specific at all, they are requirement
specific. They exist because different domains have different
requirements. 

No generic ID is going to fulfil the requirements is going to fulfil the
requirements is my thought. 


  >> Do you mean you would prefer if each journal set up URIs based on its
  >> self-chosen domain-name and we reference articles through that instead of
  >> DOIs? Or did you want to say something else?

  EJ> If instead of doi:10.1038/nrg2158 an official URI looked something like
  EJ> http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrg2158, would this make the system less
  EJ> popular?

  EJ> In fact, I suspect that the lack of such a transformation mechanism
  EJ> turned away many people from the LSID system (that, and the ugly syntax
  EJ> :-)

DOIs worked because there are actually relatively few publishers and they
moved on mass. In biology there are many more service providers, and most will
not adopt something till it looks stable and until people really bitch about
wanting it. 

Phil
Received on Wednesday, 22 August 2007 16:21:15 GMT

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