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Use of LSIDs in RDF

From: Greg Tyrelle <greg@tyrelle.net>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 16:45:51 +1000
To: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org
Message-ID: <20040413064551.GA3027@nodalpoint.org>


I'm new to this list so forgive me if this is not the right forum to
discuss these issues, nonetheless...

The Life Science Identifier (LIDS) proposal [1] addresses the need for
persistent and  unique identifiers  for biological resources.  While a
solution for this is needed, I am wondering whether the use of URNs as
defined by the LSID spec is appropriate for the semantic web ?

For example, I have some expectation that URIs in RDF can be dereferenced
to provide either a description of the resource or the resource itself
from the Internet [2]. At present HTTP URIs are the best game in town for
this. So why is LSID proposing URNs as a solution ? 

The main reason against using HTTP URIs is persistence and the separation
of a name and network location [3], according to the spec, but maintaining
persistence is largely an organizational (social issue) [4]. 

But for the moment let's just say that URNs are more persistent. The LSID
spec provides a resolution scheme, here is an outline:

1. HTTP URIs are not persistent

2. Invent a new naming scheme LSID

3. Invent new infrastructure for dereferencing LSID (DDDS)

4. Deploy new infrastructure  

5. Dereferencing a LSID results in a HTTP URI 

Which brings me to my question, why not just use persistent HTTP URIs
in the first place ?


[1] http://www.omg.org/cgi-bin/doc?lifesci/2003-01-06
[2] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/webarch/#identification
[3] http://gbiv.com/protocols/uri/rev-2002/rfc2396bis.html#URLvsURN
[4] http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/webarch/#representation-management

Greg Tyrelle
Received on Tuesday, 13 April 2004 19:57:16 UTC

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