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Subject: Fw: [egov] Search Service Interoperability

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Eliot Christian" <echristi@usgs.gov>
To: <egov@lists.oasis-open.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 04, 2004 8:10 AM
Subject: [egov] Search Service Interoperability

> On November 17, 2003, the OASIS e-Government Technical Committee
> publicly solicited comments on the initial version of the document
> concerning "Search Service Interoperability". Comments were sent
> to me and I have compiled a summary showing 50 comments received
> from about 15 people. That summary and my draft responses are at
> Many people took the time to express support and to offer words
> of encouragement. These, of course, are very much appreciated.
> As an overall assessment of the comments received, I agree with
> Mike Taylor who wrote on 22 December 2003:
>    [...] Lots of the comments ask that the document be expanded
>    to cover more ground, make greater demands, encompass more
>    areas--in other words, some commenters want this to be a
>    different document from the one it is.  My personal feeling
>    that you should rather look on these requests as opportunities
>    to find the directions for follow-up or otherwise related
>    documents.  I'd like to see the one you've already written
>    stay as small and focussed as it currently is.  The very
>    fact that it's attracted so many comments shows that, in
>    its current form it's not too intimidating for people to
>    take the time to read.  To my mind, that's Desideratum Number
>    One. Make it bigger and you'll lose half your audience.
>    (To be clear -- that's not _at all_ to say that the other
>    areas raised are not important.  Just that we're more likely
>    to make progress by taking a sequence of small steps than a
>    single huge leap.)
> To me, the most surprising comments were those that challenged
> the desirability of interoperability itself. These came from
> people apparently involved in records management and archiving.
> For example:
>    [...] NARA has concluded that the interface/display is so
>    critical to understanding archival materials in their
>    hierarchical context that Z39.50 was not desirable. [...]
>    The overwhelming majority of records are not produced for
>    publication, but to support a specific transaction or series
>    of actions, and they are seldom communicated beyond a
>    relatively narrow circle of uses related to the original
>    purpose including management, audit, etc.
> Although I believe that point is debatable, interoperability
> within the records management community is not really a matter
> we can debate within the OASIS e-Government TC. My proposed
> action is simply to delete from the document the few references
> to archives and records management.
> Various commenters focused on approaches available for creating
> collections of information, such as "harvesting", and on the
> technologies for representing semantic relationships, such as
> RDF. These are certainly interesting but quite separate from
> the recommendation about search interoperability through a
> common search service. A new section, 3.6., was added to note
> these approaches as compatible with the recommendation although
> not quite in scope.
> Text concerning access control in ISO 23950 was added into
> section 2 of the document.
> Text concerning extension mechanisms in ISO 23950 was added
> into section 3.2.
> Many other comments raised points that are discussed in my
> proposed responses but annotated as: "This clarification is
> background information. No action taken in the document."
> I look forward to further discussions and on taking this
> document to its next step.
> Eliot
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