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Re: ZNG dicussion

From: Robert Sanderson <azaroth@liverpool.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 12:45:49 +0100 (BST)
To: Mike Taylor <mike@tecc.co.uk>
cc: <www-zig@w3.org>, <ajk@mds.rmit.edu.au>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0109271222560.32299-100000@gondolin.hist.liv.ac.uk>

On Thu, 27 Sep 2001, Mike Taylor wrote:

> > * The protocol is too large and hard to implement at the low level.
> I hope that this will be less of an issue if ZOOM or something similar
> becomes widespread -- reimplemention of low-level code should become
> unnecessary, that code being implemented once in the API layer.

I agree with the original poster to a certain extent.  The problem is not
the basics but all of the layered cruft on top of them. Encapsulation?
Toss. BIB1 vs EXP1 vs... Simplify. BIB2 looks very good IMO.  Extended
Services? Toss.  etc.

At a basic level Z is a stateful protocol using ASN/BER to communicate via
the 6 basic instructions: init, search, scan, sort, present, close plus
some extras for resultsets etc.

Focus should be on what we can do with the protocol such that it can be
understood and implemented.  Only then do we get a useful, interoperable

> > * There are too many concepts. This makes joining the crowd hard, or
> >   makes interoperability hard.
> I think this is the crux of the issue.  See below.

Yes, ditto.

> > * Numeric values for attributes is ugly - there is no standardized human
> >   readable query language.
> Totally agree, that's a part of the reason that I am keen on the

Ditto :)
You want a search for a title, you should send a request for 'title' not
'4'.  Want to qualify it (eg, exact, truncated, title on spine etc) send
the text.

Yes this is anglo-centric. No numbers aren't anglo-centric. However this
doesn't stop any other programming language or protocol.

> these: the large number of concepts that one needs to understand in
> order to use Z39.50.  I call this fundamental because it is tied into

Perhaps we could build a list and go through each in turn to see how
appropriate or necessary each is?  How each adds to the specification.
Everyone says that there's a large number of concepts, and there
definitely is, perhaps we could get something definite to knock around?

      ,'/:.          Rob Sanderson (azaroth@liverpool.ac.uk)
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Received on Thursday, 27 September 2001 07:50:21 UTC

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