On Fri, May 10, 2002 at 11:44:53AM +0100, Robert Sanderson wrote:
> > But does that mean SRW should use a ZeeRex record as the SRW explain
> > mechanism? Or should SRW define functions such as
> >     giveMeAListOfIndexNames() returning an array of strings
> >     giveMeIndexDescription(String name) returning description as string
> See also Explain Classic which effectively did this, but via ASN/BER
> structures as opposed to XML. If it didn't work for Explain, then I posit
> that it won't work when recast in SOAP.

I think Explain Classic failed for different reasons. The main reason
is its sheer complexity. There are so many fields! We have implemented
Explain Classic, then built our own API on top which threw most of
the details away and ignored lots of other stuff. Explain Classic
also did not include the most important information that we wanted - a
mapping of symbolic names suitable for searching to attribute lists.

ZeeRex on the other had to me has solved this problem well and included
the real information needed and left out the cruft.

So I don't agree that Explain Classic can be used as an argument to
say that APIs are the wrong way to go. In fact, Explain Classic was
not an API based scheme. Each record had a deep and complex nested
structure ... just like a ZeeRex record. :-)

But its good to argue through these issues.