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Subject: [tm-pubsubj-comment] Re: PURL and stability of PS Identifiers

Thomas, Mary

First a point of order. I think you should restrict this debate to tm-pubsubj-comment.
It does not make sense to duplicate it on topicmaps-comment list, since this thread is
really focused on Published Subjects.

[Mary Nishikawa]
> The question is, do
> we really need to be taken  directly to the anchor in the file? Isn't it
> enough to be taken to the file containing the published subject? In
> this case, it may be a good idea to have the metadata near the top of the
> file, to make it a little easier for the person looking for this information.

> See what just has been recommended by PubSubj:
> http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tm-pubsubj/docs/recommendations/psdoc_04.htm
> "4.4.1 - Every PS Indicator in a PS DocSet shall be identified by, and
> retrievable through an unique canonical URI.
> This canonical URI is the corresponding PS Identifier, uniquely defined in
> the PS DocSet namespace."

> Note: ***Every*** PS Indicator, not only the whole set.

As said before, please refer to the latest version

It now reads:

"4.5.1 - Every PS Indicator in a PS Doc shall be identified by, and retrievable through an
unique URI.
This URI is used to identify the subject indicated by the PS Indicator."

Note we've get rid in this version of - both controversial or misleading - "canonical" and

But, anyway, it does not change anything to the "***Every*** PS Indicator" constraint.
All the point of PSI is indeed in this one-to-one correspondence.

one PSI <=> one Indicator <=> one Identifier (URI) <=> one subject

> No, PURLs cannot be bookmarked, but do we need a bookmarking capability
> for published subjects?

Definitely we do need it.

> A URI is a URI is a URI. If we provide a canonical URI, anybody should be
> able to do anything he is used to with a URI, including setting bookmarks or
> copying an URL from the browsers URL field into a mail to a colleague ...

Agreed. This is the only way it can make sense.

> May be the coming OASIS member section may provide a persistent *hosting*
> (not redirection) of PSI sets. This would work.

As Lars Marius said, I don't follow you at all on that path. It has been clear from the
very beginning of the reflection on PSIs that the notion of any central registry is to be
ruled out, because it will create an unsustainable bottleneck.
At the opposite, the recommendation aims to enable the creation of *distributed* PSI
registries. Moreover, there is no reason why OASIS should be more efficient in hosting
PSIs than any other organization. If OASIS is able to host stable URIs, why Library of
Congress or ANSI or UN would not be able to do so? Either it is possible technically, for
an organization serious about it, to maintain a stable set of URIs - if not forever, at
least until next week ;-) either it is not a sustainable eventuality, because of the
congenital volatility of the Web. Were I convinced that we are indeed in that last case, I
would say "Forget it all, PSIs will never work".

But I don't figure why maintaining stable URIs should be impossible, without using the
convoluted PURL way. Maybe so far, people have not cared enough about it. If we come to
the point of considering that having stable PSIs is critical, certainly we'll get them,
the same way we got worldwide phone numbers and ISBN when it became critical to have them.


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