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Re: Problems and Opportunities at purl.org

From: David Wood <david@3roundstones.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2015 11:43:37 -0500
Cc: "Haag, Jason" <jason.haag.ctr@adlnet.gov>, Pemanent Identifier CG <public-perma-id@w3.org>
Message-Id: <CB42D913-FBD8-47A5-A576-71FD536FD9F6@3roundstones.com>
To: Norman Gray <norman@astro.gla.ac.uk>
Hi Norman,

> On Nov 11, 2015, at 06:11, Norman Gray <norman@astro.gla.ac.uk> wrote:
> On 11 Nov 2015, at 1:41, David Wood wrote:
>> I actually agree with Jason - but think we need an optional UI for non-technical users on top of the GitHub interface.
> Not just for non-technical users, perhaps.
> The w3id.org solution of letting everyone customise a pile of .htaccess files is a very smart one, because it let w3id.org get up quickly, but I hope it's just seen as an interim solution.
> At present, I can apparently use _anything_ from mod_rewrite in there, which gives me a great deal of scope for being Clever, which would be a vice.  It would also tie w3id.org to Apache, or at least to a mod_rewrite work-a-like for all eternity, so may not be an optimal archival solution.
> A pile of .htaccess files is a fine implementation technology, but not, I think, an interface.
> As an alternative, one could imagine something as simple as a CSV file:
>    /people/nxg/myurl,http://example.org/foo/myurl
>    /people/nxg/tree1/*,http://example.org/bar/$$/index.html
>    /people/nxg/tree2/([a-z]*)-v([0-9*),http://example.org/baz/$1/version-$2
> Put angle brackets round that and call it XML, or curly brackets and call it JSON, and you're up-to-the-minute.  And technology-agnostic.
> Something like that could be prepared (on- or off-line), uploaded, validated, and journaled, quite easily perhaps.
> One could also take a great deal of useful inspiration from DNS zone files.

Yes, I agree, presuming that we wish to collaborate to create a new implementation from scratch. That is tempting, given the state of the available options. None of them really nail the simplicity of PURLs and the common use cases cleanly IMO. I think I can say that with impunity given how many of them I’ve worked on. Hopefully I’ve learned something from the experiences.

> Also, as a more general point, I consider myself a technical user, but I... am not a fan of git.  Not a fan.  A not-fan.  Not, by any means or in any sense, an Enthusiast.

:) As a friend, I advise you to say what you mean. You wouldn’t want to end up with ulcers.

However, your point is well taken. The issue that I have is the longevity of the commercial GitHub service more than git itself, but we end up in the same place for different reasons.


> All the best,
> Norman
> -- 
> Norman Gray  :  https://nxg.me.uk
> SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK
Received on Wednesday, 11 November 2015 16:44:18 UTC

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