W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org > April 2004

Re: Use of LSIDs in RDF

From: Martin Senger <senger@ebi.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004 10:20:45 +0100 (BST)
To: Greg Tyrelle <greg@tyrelle.net>
Cc: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.44.0404140921030.28477-100000@bagheera.ebi.ac.uk>

> I'm new to this list so forgive me if this is not the right forum to
> discuss these issues, nonetheless...
>
   Please forgive me as well... I will try to put some light on LSID
because I was/am involved in its specification but I am surely not an
expert on the semantic web, even not on such "trivial" things, such as
differences between URI and URN :-), not to mention HTTP URIs...
 
> The Life Science Identifier (LIDS) proposal [1]
>
   First of all, here is the latest document for the LSID spec (but what 
you said about LSID has not changed): 
http://www.omg.org/cgi-bin/doc?lifesci/03-12-02

> At present HTTP URIs are the best game in town for this. So why is LSID
> proposing URNs as a solution ?
>
   Well, my understanding is that URI is a generic schema for identifying
resources, and URN is one way how to make this generic schema a concrete
one. URN *is* URI (but not vice-versa). It seems to me (but I may be
mistaken) that better would be to compare URN and URL: one being
location-independent, one not.

> 3. Invent new infrastructure for dereferencing LSID (DDDS)
> 
   Just a small remark: the LSID spec does not dictate that the DDDS is 
the only way how to resolve an LSID. There are more ways how to discover a 
resolution service for my particular LSID. But true is that using DDDS is 
the most impressive (and possibly the most interoperable) way.

> 5. Dereferencing a LSID results in a HTTP URI 
>
   Does it really? I think that dereferencing an LSID results in an array
of bytes/bits representing the entity identyfied by this LSID. An always
very persistent array of bytes/bits - expressing just one, and only one
representation of this entity. Or, if an LSID identifies a concept, it
results in an empty array of bytes/bits (meaning "there is no real
representation attached to this LSID").

> Which brings me to my question, why not just use persistent HTTP URIs
> in the first place ?
> 
   I am not sure how to answer this ultimate question. Perhaps I need to 
understand more about HTTP URIs in order to give comparison with the URN 
used in LSID spec. To be honest I have tried to find more and I gave up 
after reading very nice article about HTTP URIs by Tim Berners-Lee
(http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/HTTP-URI.html) that gave me feeling that I 
am out of the league :-(

   Martin

-- 
Martin Senger

EMBL Outstation - Hinxton                Senger@EBI.ac.uk     
European Bioinformatics Institute        Phone: (+44) 1223 494636      
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United Kingdom                           http://industry.ebi.ac.uk/~senger
Received on Wednesday, 14 April 2004 05:24:27 UTC

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