Hi, Tony. You've had a lot of responses already, so I'll just respond
to the resonses rather than your original question.
Tony Hammond writes:
> I guess if that is the real position then we could support SRU URL
> in and SRU XML out for power users, and SRU in and arbitrary XHTML
> out for regular end users in an MGX sort of way.
Others have made alluded to this point but it's worth making
explicitly: the real distinction is not between power users and
regular users; it's between humans (who read the results) and program
(which have to analyse them). Leaving aside matters of what is and
isn't SRU-conformant, if you just want to make your search results
visible to eyeballs, then HTML (including XHTML) is appropriate; but
if you want it to be amenable to further processing -- for example, by
metasearch engines -- then you need to return compliant XML.
> Wouldn't that mean we could offer full SRU compliance for those who
> could consume the SRU XML, and at least standardize the request
> half on an SRU querystring?
Yes. Supporting CQL for queries is better than not doing so; but as
Ralph's already said, it is the easier half of the search-and-retrieve
equation. The big wins come from standard result formats. (That's
why there are so many more initiatives that deal with metadata
representation than with query formulation.)
Eliot Christian writes:
> It seems equally valid to me that people have SRU layered
> underneath an intermediary that renders HTML. I don't see why it
> should matter to the SRU community whether that intermediary has
> been written with the stylesheet programming language or any other
> programming language.
I don't think anyone does care _how_ XML is transformed into HTML.
The question is whether the raw XML is available to clients _at all_.
If it isn't, then the service being offered is not SRU (nor MXG). If
the XML is avalable, then, sure, it's nice also to offer a service
that can transform it from this machine-readable form into something
Oh, and while I'm here, Ralph LeVan writes:
> You can use CQL as the query grammar embedded inside your own
> unique URL's and return arbitrary XHMTL. But CQL wasn't designed
> to be a human entered query grammar. It does simple stuff well,
> but tricky stuff gets tricky.
Tricky stuff is tricky in any language. The one area in which CQL
fails as a human-usable language is the perverse interpretation of
queries such as
tottenham court road
in which "court" is interpreted as an unsupported relation.
/o ) \/ Mike Taylor <[log in to unmask]> http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\ The problem with democracy is that it's government of the people,
by the people. Have you _seen_ the people lately?