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RE: Specifying search attributes

From: Gilby,J <J.Gilby@lse.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 11:32:05 -0000
Message-ID: <D925C89581364945891C7A7CE2EAD4490ADBFB@exf1.backup>
To: <www-zig@w3.org>
The answer depends a lot on what servers you wish to connect to. In our experience of searching different commercial library systems in the UK, the Z-server default behaviour is the limiting factor. With some, whatever Bib-1 attribute set we send is effectively ignored by the server which simply carries out the search according to its inbuilt default behaviour (or attribute settings). With some other systems that do not accept certain Bib-1 attributes, the result will be a failed search, irrespective of whether the value is set to zero or not. Personally I'd not send an attribute rather than send value=0.
If Bath configured searches are sent to a Bath compliant server, there should be no problem but most servers are not fully compliant with Bath, unfortunately. According to Bath, if a Bath compliant search cannot be processed by the server, then an error message should be sent to the client. More often what happens is that the server carries out a non-Bath compliant, default behaviour search - which does not necessarily mean giving relevant results.
The only sure way to know what will happen is to test individual servers and see how they respond to various attribute sets, particularly Bath. The down-side of this is that it is time consuming but it can ensure the end-user gets more consistent results between different servers.
Hope that helps,
John Gilby 
M25 Systems Team 
LSE Library 
10 Portugal Street 
London WC2A 2HD 

-----Original Message-----
From: www-zig-request@w3.org [mailto:www-zig-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of LeVan,Ralph
Sent: 20 January 2005 18:46
To: www-zig@w3.org
Subject: FW: Specifying search attributes

Ghislain, you've sent your message to a dead mailing list.  I'm forwarding it to the active ZIG mailing list.





From: Z39.50 Implementors Workshop [mailto:Z3950IW@LISTS.UFL.EDU] On Behalf Of Page, Ghislain
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2005 1:37 PM
Subject: Specifying search attributes




We are currently developing a Z39.50 client for basic bibliographic search.  In the first version of the client, we do not plan to allow the users to enter the Position, Structure, Truncation and Completeness attributes.


So my question is: should we leave these values to 0 or should we specify a value?  According, for example, to the BATH profile, an Author Search should set the attributes in the following way:


Use (1) set to 1003 (author)

Relation (2) set to 3 (equal)

Position (3) set to 3 (any position in the field)

Structure (4) set to 101 (normalized)

Truncation (5) set to 100 (do not truncate)

Completeness (6) set to 1 (incomplete subfield)


How is a server not supporting these values supposed to react?  Is it supposed to ignore them (and do as if I sent 0)?  Or will it simply return no result?  The latter is what I fear (because then the client would be useless on that server).


Our objective is to get the most relevant results.


Thank you in advance,

Ghislain Pagé, M.Sc.
Development consultant 
(514) 392-0373 ext. 2288 

Received on Friday, 21 January 2005 11:32:37 UTC

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