Joe Zeeman wrote:

> No, I think you need to define "alternate term" more precisely.  It is
> shockingly badly specified in Z39.50, which has the following description:
> "A suggested alternative term".  What the heck does that mean? To me
> "alternate" and "alternative" implies it has equal weight: use either A or
> B to get the same stuff.  So I can't say "You won't find anything if you
> search for A, but look for B and you'll hit the motherlode".

I don't dissagree that it's very poorly specified in Z39.50, but it doesn't
mean either of "use A or B to get the same stuff" or "don't use A, use B". It's
a "see also" reference, it means  "use B to get *more* stuff".  I can simply
say from a historical perspective, that's what it was intended to be. There was
alot of tension about what Scan would cover, remember it was originally called
"browse" and when we decided that we couldn't come to consensus on what
"browse" meant we settled on "Scan" which was seen as much more limited in
scope: to scan a linear index. Part of that compromise was to include things
like alternative term. We left the development of a "Browse" service for later.
I don't think the Z39.50 community ever really decided whether to use Scan as a
basis to develop things like hierarchical browsing, thesaural searching, etc.
or if Z39.50 still needs a new service.  And I doubt if the ZIG has the
patience to figure this out now.

This all makes me wonder if we really want to call what we're developing here
"Scan" or something else, or develop two services, "Scan" *and* something else.