Hi Clay,

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.)

On the one side you are right: Atom + APP is becoming popular and the
standards are good, so digital libraries should get into it. On the
other side I was just reminded to the ECDL2006-paper "Repository
Replication Using NNTP and SMTP": You can almost use any protocol (HTTP,
OAI, ATOM APP, WebDAV, NNTP...) for most of digital libraries' use cases
- but the best standard without approriate tools and support is pretty

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.

Most repositories do not even track deletions so they cannot syndicate
them. If OAI-delete was mandatory, maybe OAI-PMH had not been used that
much? OAI did a good job in promoting and documenting OAI-PMH but
deletions were always treated as an orphan - I would not blame the
standard but the lacking implementation.

Also ATOM and RFC 5005 is not much better than other solutions - but its
much more likely to get it implemented in Weblog and other software then
OAI which is not that known outside the library world.


P.S: Maybe we would all be happy with Z39.50 if we had that wonderful
Indexdata tools right from the beginning - instead there were only
closed source specifications and different closed source partial
implementations. A standard without easy to use open source
implementations is condemned to be violated and die.

Jakob Voß <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>, skype: nichtich
Verbundzentrale des GBV (VZG) / Common Library Network
Platz der Goettinger Sieben 1, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
+49 (0)551 39-10242, http://www.gbv.de

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