> In Z39.50 we have a lot of complex machinery that is hardly (or
> sometimes never) used. Mainly because we would introduce some additional
> functionality (sometimes quite complex - e.g. qSpec) to solve a
> particular problem in one particular applicaiton, which no-one else
> needed or subsequently used, or in some causes to solve a hypothetical
> problem which no-one has actually encountered.
The reason being that all of the functionality in Z39.50 is very specific
to Z39.50 If you could get an off the shelf package that provided qSpec or
the Explain or ExtendedServices database, then people would likely have
implemented them. But you can't. You can, on the other hand, get XPath
implementations very easily in a variety of languages, often for free.
Z39.50 is confusing because it didn't have the option of pointing at
something else and saying 'This standard goes here'. With SRW we can.
People writing servers and clients will already know about XPath if they
need to use it. And if they don't there's a vast amount of literature on
it freely available at the click of a google search.
Try doing a search for eSpecQ, qSpec and XPath on google. 'nuff said.
> With SRW I'm more in favour of keeping it simple - I'm not against
> adding new stuff if it really *is* needed to solve a *real* problem. I'm
> not particularly happy to add stuff just because it can do clever stuff
> that might solve a future undefined problem.
I think I've demonstrated enough real application problems, many of which
exist now (EAD, TEI, CIMI, even XHTML), and some of which might not exist
now but are likely to exist in the short term future (SVG, X3D). These
are certainly neither 'future' nor 'undefined'.
> Anyway, in this case it isn't that I want to prevent people from putting
> up such a server - just that it seems a particularly silly thing to do
> and not particularly useful.
/You/ might not find it useful for your particular search requirements,
but if we are to make any sort of foothold in non simple bibliographic
searching, then we need to not treat everything as a glorified MARC
Here's one closer to home for you: An XML representation of a musical
score. Return the trumpet section. Return the first 4 bars. Return the
,'/:. Rob Sanderson ([log in to unmask])
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