Hi Peter, I completely agree with everything you just wrote, especially about Atom + APP being more than just a technology for blogs. APP is a great lightweight alternative to WebDAV, and promising for all sorts of data transfer. The fact that it has developer groundswell is a huge plus. During my Princeton days Kevin Clarke and I briefly talked about what a METS + APP metadata editing application could do. (I can't remember the answer, but I bet it would be snazzy.)
To stay on the OAI theme, I sometimes wish the activity of sharing metadata used a push technology like APP instead of the OAI pull/ harvest approach that we use today. One of the reasons is that I feel it would be easier for the content providers to achieve deletes via HTTP DELETE for deleted record behavior, simply because the content providers would know to whom they PUT or POSTed their metadata. Service providers wouldn't have to support deleted records, they'd just have to reindex. I came to this realization out of frustration that most OAI toolkits (at the time, ca. 2005) didn't support that functionality well -- or at all. I don't know if that's still the case. However, the need to delete records is a reality for most projects, and OAI has somewhat awkwardly made us rethink how to "delete" a record in repositories and the like, both on the service and data provider end. You almost have to build your entire system around handling "deleted" records just for OAI exposure. In reality it seems like you just end up masquerading or re-representing its outward visibility on our local systems, which gets onerous. I guess the difference is that the growing number of Atom developers are heeding the requirement for deletions, whereas the few existing OAI toolkit developers have deemed that functionality as optional. Long winded as usual, Clay On Oct 24, 2007, at 12:51 AM, pkeane wrote:
This conversation about Atom is, I think, really an important one to have. As well designed and thought out as protocols & standards such as OAI-PMH, METS (and the budding OAI-ORE spec) are, they don't have that "viral" technology attribute of utter simplicity. [snipped]
I see numerous advantages to standardizing on Atom for any number of outward-facing services/end-points. I think it would be sad if Atom and AtomPub were seen only as technologies used by and for blogs/blogging.