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Subject: RE: [tm-pubsubj] [Fwd: NISO-Sponsored INFO URI Scheme Published]


Thanks for the pointer. I was aware of the info URI scheme initiative but
had not followed the recent developments.
What strikes me at first reading is that info URIs are by design not


"The unique aspect of info URIs is that info URIs are not dereferenceable.
The sole purpose of info is the disclosure of the identity of an
information asset from a public namespace."

One could say at first sight that this makes info URIs non-conformant with
PSI Requirement 2

"A Published Subject Identifier must resolve to an human-interpretable
Published Subject Indicator."

But maybe we should consider carefully before striking them out for this
simple reason. The choice of "non-dereferenceability" (what a word!) is
quite argumented at
http://www2.elsevier.co.uk/~tony/info/info.html#non_deref and I think we
should read that carefully.
Although info URIs are not resolvable through the network, their very
scheme provides completely non-ambiguous definition not only of the
subject, but of publishing authority through a registration mechanism. So
by design they are indeed subject identifiers, and intended to be.

BTW http://www2.elsevier.co.uk/~tony/info/info.html#topic_map
indicates topic map subject identity as a use case, although it describes
the URI used as a "public subject indicator", which is not completely
accurate terminology, should be "published subject identifier", but using
it that way seems to me completely conformant to the spirit of
non-ambiguous subject identification, is not to the letter of Deliverable

I think it interprets somehow the requirement of "resolvability" into
something like:

"A Published Subject Identifier must provide a non-ambiguous mechanism
giving access to a unique human-interpretable Published Subject Indicator.
This mechanism is usually network resolution, but it could be any other
non-ambiguous process defined by the Publishing Authority."

Note that "Subject Indicator" is defined in Deliverable 1 like an
information resource, but not explicitly a network-retrievable one. So
under those relaxed requirements, info URIs would be conformant PSIs.

What do folks think ?

Bernard Vatant
Senior Consultant
Knowledge Engineering
Mondeca - www.mondeca.com

> -----Message d'origine-----
> De : Patrick Durusau [mailto:Patrick.Durusau@sbl-site.org]
> Envoye : vendredi 16 janvier 2004 00:57
> A : tm-pubsubj
> Objet : [tm-pubsubj] [Fwd: NISO-Sponsored INFO URI Scheme Published]
> Greetings!
> I don't normally forward stuff from other lists but thought this should
> be the rare exception. I have not had time to do more than scan the post
> itself but suspect members of our group will find it of interest.
> Hope everyone is having a great day!
> Patrick
> *****Forwarded post*****
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: NISO-Sponsored INFO URI Scheme Published
> Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2004 18:12:21 -0500
> From: "Cynthia Hodgson" <chodgson@niso.org>
> To: <NISO-L@list.niso.org> (NISO-L List)
> NISO-Sponsored INFO URI Scheme is Information Gateway to
> the Web
> Publishing and Library Communities Join Forces to
> Facilitate and Expedite Representation of Standard
> Identifiers such as Library of Congress Control Numbers on
> the Web
> Working under the auspices of the National Information
> Standards Organization (NISO), a joint task force of the
> publishing and library communities has developed and
> published a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) scheme aimed
> at the identification of information assets.  Information
> assets should be interpreted rather broadly to include,
> for example, documents and terms from classification
> schemes.  The INFO URI scheme is a consistent and reliable
> way to represent and reference such standard identifiers
> as Dewey Decimal Classifications on the Web so that these
> identifiers can be "read" and understood by Web
> applications.  Led by four NISO members and associates-Los
> Alamos National Laboratory, Online Computer Library Center
> (OCLC), Elsevier, and Manifest Solutions-the initiative
> builds on earlier consultations with representatives from
> the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Internet
> Engineering Task Force (IETF). An Internet-Draft for the
> INFO URI scheme was first published Sept. 25th, 2003 and a
> revision published Dec. 5th, 2003 (see
> <http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-vandesompel-info-uri-0
> 1.txt>).*
> Herbert Van de Sompel, Digital Library Research &
> Prototyping at the Los Alamos National Laboratory's
> Research Library, stated, "A good example of the problem
> that the INFO URI scheme solves involves PubMed
> identifiers: unique numbers assigned to records in the
> PubMed database maintained by the National Center for
> Biotechnology Information (NCBI) of the National Library
> of Medicine.  PubMed identifiers originated prior to the
> Web, so they are not URIs. As such they do not exist
> naturally in the Web infrastructure because the Web only
> recognizes URIs as a means to identify information
> resources.  So Web applications cannot use PubMed
> identifiers, and hence cannot reference PubMed records
> that are identified by them.  The solution is to turn
> PubMed identifiers into URIs.  The INFO Registry enables
> the registration of public namespaces of standard
> identifiers; NCBI registered its PubMed identifier
> namespace under the INFO Registry-their namespace is
> pmid-so we can now talk about the record with the PubMed
> identifier '12376099' in URI terms as
> <info:pmid/12376099>."
> "The goal of INFO is to act as a bridging mechanism to the
> Web by providing a lightweight means for registering
> public namespaces used for the identification of
> information assets," said Tony Hammond, Advanced
> Technology Group at Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of
> scientific, technical and medical information products and
> services.  "We see INFO as an enabling technology for the
> library, publishing and media communities-a way to
> facilitate and speed the growth of the Web as a truly
> global information place beyond a basic document
> repository. The Library of Congress, the National Library
> of Medicine, and NASA are among those organizations that
> have already registered public namespaces with the INFO
> Registry."
> "There are different ways to represent these identifiers
> on the Web," explained Pat Harris, NISO's Executive
> Director, "but the INFO URI scheme really simplifies
> matters. As a Web user, you aren't likely to see the
> scheme in action on your screen-for example,
> <info:lccn/2002022641>, because it's an under-the-hood way
> of communicating the identity of an information asset to a
> Web application."
> The INFO Registry is now available online at
> <http://info-uri.info/> for receiving new registrations.
> This Registry contains all the information needed by Web
> applications to make use of INFO namespaces. Each Registry
> entry defines the namespace, the syntax, and normalization
> rules for the representing INFO identifiers as URIs, and
> gives full contact information for the namespace authority
> for that entry. Moreover, the INFO Registry is readable by
> both humans and machines alike.
> For more information about the INFO URI scheme, see the
> FAQ at
> < http://info-uri.info/registry/docs/misc/faq.html >.
> ===========================================
> Cynthia Hodgson
> National Information Standards Organization (NISO)
> 4733 Bethesda Avenue, Suite 300
> Bethesda, MD  20814-5248
> T. 301-654-2512, F. 301-654-1721
> www.niso.org
> ##########
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> --
> Patrick Durusau
> Director of Research and Development
> Society of Biblical Literature
> Patrick.Durusau@sbl-site.org
> Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
> Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model
> Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work!
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