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Re: ZNG dicussion

From: Mike Taylor <mike@tecc.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 16:52:05 +0100
To: jacob@netg.se
CC: azaroth@liverpool.ac.uk, www-zig@w3.org
Message-Id: <E15mzvp-00004K-00@relay.tecc.co.uk>
> Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 16:26:08 +0200 (CEST)
> From: =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Jacob_Hall=E9n?= <jacob@netg.se>
> 
> [The protocol] already has so many ugly warts that it
> looks like an old toad. One more won't hurt it.

Just to note my disagreement here.  The big, scary complex bits of
Z39.50 -- Explain and and Extended Services -- are quite rightly built
out of the existing primitives: search, present, etc.  As a result,
there is a legitimate view that they do not increase the size of
complexity of the standard at all.

In fact, if we were doing it all again -- with an infinite amount of
time on our hands -- here's what I'd suggest.  Without changing their
technical content IN ANY WAY, and thus without harming binary-level
interoperability, we should take Explain and Extended Services out of
the standard, and re-cast them as Profiles -- which is what they
really are anyway.  They're nothing more nor less than good ways to
use the core Z39.50 services.

(Fringe benefit: had Explain been cast as a profile rather than a part
of the standard proper, it would have been much easier to throw away
the custom record syntax and replace it with a GRS.1 or XML schema
when it became apparent that that was The Right Thing.  Then we would
all have implemented Explain Classic, and Explain Lite wouldn't have
been necessary.)

Never mind.  I'm talking about a parallel, idealised universe now,
which is probably a waste of good neurones.  I promise instead to
concentrate my energies on improving the universe we have now.

(Er.  Unless someone wants to propose the Explain and Extended
Services profiles as changes to the Z39.50-2001 document?  :-)

 _/|_	 _______________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor   <mike@miketaylor.org.uk>   www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "I thought you were interested in me as an 'ooman being!" --
	 Monty Python.
Received on Friday, 28 September 2001 11:52:07 UTC

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