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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.

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

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

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

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
Received on Wednesday, 21 June 2000 14:45:38 UTC

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