On 29 April 2010 13:17, MJ Suhonos <m...@suhonos.ca> wrote:
>> The OpenURL specification is a 119 page PDF - that alone is a reason to run 
>> away as fast as you can.
> The main reason for this is because OpenURL can do much, much, much more than 
> the simple "resolve a unique copy" use case that libraries use it for.  We're 
> using maybe 1% of the spec for 99% of our practice, probably because 
> librarians weren't imaginative (as Jim Weinheimer would say) enough to think 
> of other use cases beyond that most pressing one.

It's worth contrasting this with the original OpenURL specification,
now retro-numbered as v0.1:
This is the one that everyone implemented in a burst of enthusiasm
earlier this decade.  You know, in the way, almost on-one's
implemented v1.0.

That document is TEN pages long.  Eight, really, since the total count
includes a page containing the foreword written after the event and a
page of acknowledgements consisting of a single 11-word sentence.

Can we be surprised that this specification attracted more interest
than the one fifteen times longer?

OpenURL 1.0 took that simple, comprehensible spec -- one that you
could read over lunch and fully understand -- and blew it up into a
super-generalised exercise in architecture astronautics.  And then
provided ANOTHER big document explaining how you can "profile" OpenURL
1.0 to make it do the stuff that v0.1 does (i.e. what you actually
WANT it to do) -- except, of course, that it expresses the same
concepts in a different way, so that v0.1 and v1.0 OpenURLs are
mutually incomprehensible.

All of this to support vapour use-cases that no-one has taken
advantage of because no-one ever needed to do that stuff.  So the sum
achievement of OpenURL 1.0 has been (A) to fill people with fear of
what used to be a very useful and perfectly straightforward
specification, and (B) where implemented at all, to balkanise

> I'd contend that OpenURL, like other technologies (<cough> XML) is greatly 
> misunderstood, and therefore abused, and therefore discredited.  I think 
> there is also often confusion between the KEV schemas and OpenURL itself 
> (which is really what Dorothea's blog rant is about); I'm certainly guilty of 
> this myself, as Jonathan can attest.
> You don't *have* to use the KEVs with OpenURL, you can use anything, 
> including eg. Dublin Core.


So long as you don't mind that only 0.01% of the world's OpenURL
resolvers will know what to do with them.

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