Re: Globalizing URIs

weibel@oclc.org
Fri, 11 Aug 1995 08:24:38 -0400


From: weibel@oclc.org
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 1995 08:24:38 -0400
Message-Id: <199508111224.IAA03977@ws02-00.rsch.oclc.org>
To: uri@bunyip.com
Subject: Re: Globalizing URIs


A  parable of modern technology gone wrong.


The Ohio State University Health Science Library was built in the mid
70's around an abominable piece of technology-run-amok called the
RandTriever... a mechanical book storage system that required looking
up a call number, giving it to a reference clerk who, in turn, matched
it with an accession number (an undifferentiated string of 10 or 12
numeric characters), which, in turn, was entered via keyboard to retrieve
the desired object.

Among the *MANY* deficiencies of this system was the need for people
to enter such numbers without error.  Something like 30% of the failures
to retrieve had simply to do with this human-hostile resource identifier
being mistyped.

URIs (and I assume we are talking about URNs here) should be amenable
to handling by humans.