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Subject: Fw: description language

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2008 4:54 AM
Subject: Re: description language


[You'll have to forward this to the search-ws list as I'm still not a

> Could one of you volunteer to quickly draft up a document for discussion
> that treats both SRU 1.2 and openSearch?

Here's a description for an SRU server.

<sws xmlns="http://copac.ac.uk/schemas/sws/v0.1">
    <param name="query" semantics="cql"/>
    <param name="maxItems" value="25"/>
    <set name="numberOfItems">
     <xpath select="/zs:searchRetrieveResponse/zs:numberOfRecords"
    <set name="items">
     <xpath select="//mods"/>

In essence, to handle SRU, all you need to do is:

1. Construct a query (the hard bit) and insert it into a url.
2. Extract the records from the response (which is easy with
    an XPath.)

Describing SRU itself isn't hard. The hard bit is CQL. The Description
Language doesn't try to describe CQL, it assumes the program that reads
the Description (and performs the operations described within it) knows
how to build a CQL query from the search terms provided to it.

My impression of OpenSearch (from what has been said on the list) is
that service providers are expected to provide the OpenSearch
descriptions of their service. Whereas with the Search-WS Description
Language I would expect the users of the service to write their own
Description, or at least tailor a template provide by the service
provider to the specific requirements of the searcher.

Therefore I see no need to provide the various "fluff" that
makes it into an OpenSearch document; namely stuff like:


If any of that is wanted it can be put in an XML comment, or
maybe inserted into the Description under the OpenSearch


Ashley Sanders               a.sanders@manchester.ac.uk
Copac http://copac.ac.uk A Mimas service funded by JISC

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