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Breakout session: future of Z39.50

From: Ray Denenberg <rden@loc.gov>
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 14:45:22 -0400
Message-ID: <39510D41.2CFE5124@rs8.loc.gov>
To: ZIG List <z3950iw@lists.ufl.edu>, "ZIG List (at W3C)" <www-zig@w3.org>
(Can we stop posting to both lists now?  Will everyone who recieves this message
via z3950iw@lists.ufl.edu please make certain that you also recieve it via
www-zig@w3.org, and if not please let me know.)

There will be a breakout session on "the future of Z39.50" at Leuven.

The "future" will be treated in three parts: short-, mid-, and long-term.
Short-term deals with 2000/2001 re-affirmation/revision (see below). Mid-term is
XML,  web-related issues, and version 4.  "Long-term" discussion will pose the
question: what is the future (i.e 10-20 years) of intersystem
searching/information retrieval, and where does Z39.50 fit in (if at all)?

I've met with NISO officials and following is a summary of our discussion and an
outline of a proposed plan for re-affirmation/revision of Z39.50.  Z39.50-1995
is five years old and must be re-affirmed or revised in 2000/2001.  Our proposed
plan call for a revision rather than simple re-affirmation. However I want to
stress that the revision will include nothing that would render Z39.50-2000 (or
more likely, 2001) incompatible with Z39.50-1995.  It will not be "version 4".
Following is the outline of the plan to prepare a draft for ballot.

All defect reports and amendments will be incorporated into the text
(encapsulation, an amendment, will likey be a separate section within
"protocol").  Clarifications will be incorporated where appropriate.
Commentaries and implementor agreements will be considered case-by-case.

Appendices:
Appendix 1 (object identifiers) will be retained, and brought up-to-date.

Appendix 2 (applcation contexts) will be dropped. (All OSI references will be
dropped.)

Appendix 3 (attribute sets): the list of sets at the beginning of the appendix
will be dropped. The text immediately following will be integrated into the body
of the standard. Bib-1 will be dropped from the appendix (it will be maintained
solely on the Maintenance Agency web site).  Attribute sets exp-1 and ext-1 will
be retained in the appendix.

Appendix 4 (diagnostics): the bib-1 diagnostic set will be re-named (proposed
name: general diagnostic set). This set will be retained in the text and brought
up-to-date. Diag-1 will be dropped from the text; as far as we can tell, nobody
has implemented it (if we're wrong, please speak up).

Appendix 5 (record Syntaxes): the following definitions will be retained in the
text: SUTRS, GRS-1, Explain, and Extended Service.  (All other information will
continue to be maintained by the Maintenance Agency.)

Appendix 6 (resource report formats):   Background: Originally there was
resource-1, which listed 16 categories of resources, with no provision of
extensibility.  Resource-2 was added in 1995, inheriting the original 16
categories, with provision for extensibility. Thus Resource-2 is a compatible
superset of resource-1.  We propose to drop resource-1 and retain resource-2
(with comment to the effect that a client might want to be prepared to recognize
the resource-1 object identifier.)

Appendix 7 (Access Control formats):  to be retained in its entirety.

Appendix 8 (Extended Services): to be retained in its entirety.

Appendix 9 (User Information Formats): this appendix is divided into sections
USR.1 and USR.2; USR.1 is searchResult-1, which will be retained.  USR.2
discusses negotiation, and this text is pretty much superceded by the
negotiation model. We propose to drop this section, and add a new appendix
covering negotiation.

Appendix 10 (element specification formats):  We propose to include the eSpec-2
definition, with a note about eSpec-1, including a a comment to the effect that
a server might want to be prepared to recognize the eSpec-1 object identifier.
We propose to include eSpec-q.

Appendix 11 (variants): will be retained and brought up-to-date.

Appendix 12 (tag sets): will be retained and brought up-to-date; semantics will
be integrated into the text.  The list of schemas will be dropped.

Appendix 13, 14, and 16 (non-normative): retained

Appendix 15 (profiles): dropped. A non-normative appendix is proposed discussing
profiles, how they are developed, and their relationship to the standard.

Attribute architecture: At the San Antonio meeting the sentiment was that this
should not be included in the standard; no concrete reason was offered,
however.  The NISO folks have convinced me that it should be included
(excerpted), as a non-normative appendix. we can discuss this at the Leuven
meeting.

A draft for discussion at the December ZIG will be prepared, and a draft for
NISO ballot may be ready during first quarter 2001.

Please comment on this plan, and we will discuss it at leuven.

--
Ray Denenberg
Library of Congress
rden@loc.gov
202-707-5795
Received on Wednesday, 21 June 2000 14:45:38 GMT

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