If you don't mind could I make one correction plus draw your attention
to a closely related initiative?
Firstly your comments about Z39.50 are somewhat out of date. There is a
2002 revision to the standard (see
http://www.niso.org/standards/resources/Z39-50-200x.pdf) and work on
incorporating XML schemas as returned record schemas (see
However, more pertinently to your request for similar initiatives not
covered by the related work, there has been quite a lot of activity
developing a generic search WebService (using SOAP and related
technologies) call SRW, and a generic query language (CQL) retaining the
better parts of the Z39.50 strategy (without, hopefully some of the
baggage) - in particular the concept of being able to search on abstract
indexes indepedently of metadata schemas rather than within the context
of a given metadata schema, which is extremely important for
Further details of version 1.0 of the protocol which has been in use for
over 9 months is at
http://lcweb.loc.gov/z3950/agency/zing/srw/specifications.html. Work is
currently ongoing with version 1.1.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: The CETIS Metadata Special Interest Group
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Phil Barker
> Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2003 2:33 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [Fwd: [Fwd: [Elena Info] Public Draft Version Query
> API / Networking Session at IST2003]]
> I haven't yet had a chance to take a look at this, but it
> looks like it
> might be interesting to some of you. If you do make any comments then
> consider cc'ing them to this list.
> Cheers, Phil.
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: [Elena Info] Public Draft Version Query API /
> Networking Session
> at IST2003
> Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 19:30:14 +0200
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Reply-To: [log in to unmask]
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Dear stakeholders in the inter-operability of learning repositories,
> Allow us to announce our first public draft of an query interface for
> learning repositories that is available at:
> The interface specification was build upon the following requirements:
> . The query interface must be designed to query heterogeneous metadata
> schemas. No predefined schema registration shall be required.
> . The query interface must not require a specific query
> language. Any query
> language where metadata schemas can be referenced (e.g. QEL or XQUERY)
> shall qualify for usage.
> . The query interface must build upon existing standards of
> the W3C such as
> XML, RDF, and SOAP.
> . The query interface must not require a specific network
> architecture. One
> shall be able to deploy the interface in a centralized, registry-based
> network as well as in a peer-to-peer environment.
> . The query interface must be based on a light-weight design,
> which allows
> for a fast implementation.
> We kindly invite you to comment on the specification until the 15th of
> October (please sent them to [log in to unmask]). If
> you have worked
> on a similar initiative that is not covered by the related
> work section of
> the paper, please drop a note.
> Among other issues, such as semantic search and training management
> optimization, the specification will also be openly discussed at the
> IST2003 Networking Session. Our session entitled "ELENA:
> Creating Smart
> Spaces for Learning" will take place at the Fiera Milano
> Congressi Center,
> Largo Domodossola 1, I-20145 Milano (maps are available at:
> Room: "Yellow 1 - Teatro San Carlo"
> Time: Saturday, 04/10/2003 (14:00 - 15:30)
> We are looking forward to meeting many of you in person and get your
> input and perspectives our research.
> Your Elena Team
> Elena-ann mailing list
> [log in to unmask]
> Lorna M. Campbell
> Assistant Director
> Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability Standards (CETIS)
> Centre for Academic Practice, University of Strathclyde
> +44 (0)141 548 3072
> mail2web - Check your email from the web at
> http://mail2web.com/ .
> Phil Barker Learning Technology Adviser
> ICBL, School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
> Mountbatten Building, Heriot-Watt University,
> Edinburgh, EH14 4AS
> Tel: 0131 451 3278 Fax: 0131 451 3327
> Web: http://www.icbl.hw.ac.uk/~philb/