For what it's worth, I am personally not in love with the idea of adding a
multi-database capability to SRW since it adds a lot of complexity.
However, if that's what it takes to get the major content providers on
board, then I think it's worth considering how much we can offer without
introducing major complexity.
As for Ralph, no, he wasn't there -- which was a shame, since he is *BOTH*
an SRW person and a representative of a large content provider and so would
have provided an excellent perspective on the discussion (and he's fun to
have around, too :-).
At 13:27 24-05-2003 -0400, Annie Denenberg wrote:
>Sebastian - Thanks. There might be a compelling case for building
>into SRW. Then again maybe not. Ralph's insight on this would be useful
>and I hope he'll
>weigh in here, as I strongly suspect that he would be passionately opposed
>to the idea. And (I
>think) he was at the workshop?
>From: Z39.50 Next-Generation Initiative [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of
>Sent: Saturday, May 24, 2003 5:15 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: SRW/SRU and Metasearch products
>At 19:11 23-05-2003 -0400, Ray Denenberg wrote:
> >Ok let me ask my question another way. First, is there one of the
> >documents that
> >formalizes the metasearch model? (Appologies if there is one but I can't
>I could have missed it too, ut to the best of my knowledge, no such model
>has been formalised. I believe that one of the short-term goals of the NISO
>metasearch effort is to arrive at just such a formalization -- one that
>incorporates the rights management, authentication, search and business
>model requirements of the different actors. However, at present, this is
>viewed as a fairly new busines area and there's generally not much of an
>established terminology. Even the term "metasearcher" is kind of grabbed
>arbitrarily from a handful of competing terms.
> >I'm assuming it's an extension of the client/server model with an
> >in the middle, the "metasearcher", so the model is
> >client/metasearcher/server(s), where the metasearcher is a server to the
> >end-client and acts as multiple clients to multiple
> end-servers. (This is a
> >model we've attempted to formalize in Z39.50 but never could.) And if so,
>I actually think that we have succeeded extremely well in formalising one
>of the central elements -- the search part... no-one challenges the fact
>that Z39.50 is a comprehensive approach to solving the problem (even if the
>content vendors still see it as incomplete). When Z39.50 is not at the top
>of the list is is because of a perception among some people (perhaps a
>majority, certainly a *vocal* majority) that Z39.50 is overly complex and
>mired in obsolete technology.
> >there is a search protocol between end-client and metasearcher, and a
>That would, in the majority of cases, be HTTP/HTML. However, it's certainly
>possible to imagine that down the road, there will be a desire for a
>web-services-like formalisation of the interface/API to a metasearcher.
> >between metasearcher and end-servers. And these are not necessarily the
> >protocol. Are there names for these in the model, like "metasearch" protocol
> >and "access" protocol? (I'm asking out of ignorance; surely there's a model
> >somewhere that I've overlooked.) For the metaseach protocol, clearly the
>I don't believe there is presently a hard formalisation of these terms.
>Again, this forum is less than a year old and represents a get-together of
>many varied, sometimes conflicting business interests attempting to find a
>common platform. I'd expect to see a "vocabulary of concepts" arise from
>the email/telecon work of the group over the next half year or so.
> >multi-database issue is important, and for the access protocol it's not.
> >this make sense or am I missing the big picture?)
>If by "access protocol" you mean the protocol between metasearcher and
>end-servers (content providers), then you're wrog -- the multi-database
>issue is seen as a core one. I know this runs against the grain of our
>discussions in ZiNG, but bear in mind that the *new* players on the scene,
>the large, commercial content vendors, very frequently run very large
>numbers (hundreds or even tens of thousands) of logical databases. For some
>of these, they allow cross-searching via their own interface, for some they
>don't, for technical or other reasons. However, the metasearchers is
>capable of cross-searching *any* combination of databases on their servers,
>basically by emulating individual users against each one. So consider
>ElseVier offering 50 different searchable, logical databases within a given
>subject area. The simple-minded metasearcher is capable of launching
>individual searches against all of these 50 databases in response to a
>single search, and this creates a very noticeable load against the server
>-- potetially a 50-fold increase in server load if a large percentage of
>users access their dataases through metasearch agents.
>This is why, in a nutshell, there is suddenly a requirement for
>multi-database searching in the end-server access protocol (for lack of a
> >Which protocol are we considering when we talk about SRW in this model?
> >One or
> >the other or both? My reading leads me to think to me it's the metasearch
>SRW in this context, I believe, is being considered only for access to the
>end-servers, or content providers.
> >protocol, so I'm inclined to think we should reconsider the database
> issue for
> >SRW (which is a different view from my earlier posting now as I've
> >this). I also think we should start looking at the Z39.50 dedup service,
> >significant intellectual resources went into it, and nobody has
> >implemented it,
> >since it's really a metaseach function.
>I agree that a discussion about dedup is interesting, and that SRW could
>potentially evolve into a useful protocol for user access to metasearch
>engines, but that's not where the NISO group is at right now.. basically
>the metasearch engines are developed by competing companies trying to stake
>out a claim in an evolving market, and there's not presently a great
>interest in standardizing access to the metasearcher. Another concern is
>that the type of application is still so new and poorly understood that I
>think the scope of that interface would be very hard to agree on.
>Sebastian Hammer, Index Data <http://www.indexdata.dk/>
>Ph: +45 3341 0100, Fax: +45 3341 0101
Sebastian Hammer, Index Data <http://www.indexdata.dk/>
Ph: +45 3341 0100, Fax: +45 3341 0101