I agree that OpenURL is crappy.

My point was that the "problem case" -- 'identifying' (or describing an element sufficient for identification, if you like to call it that) publications that do not have standard identifiers -- is a real one. OpenURL _does_ solve it. You _probably_ don't want to ignore this problem case in a twitter annotation scenario. If you can solve it _better_ than OpenURL, than all the better. Or if you decide intentionally to exclude it from your scenario, that's fine, you know your intended domain. But OpenURL, despite it's crappiness, _does_ address this "problem case" reasonably effectively, and it is really in use.

I'm certainly not trying to be an OpenURL booster. But it works, and until/unless we have something better, is is addressing a problem case that is really important in many scenarios (like getting users to licensed full text, naturally).


Ross Singer wrote:
On Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 8:17 AM, MJ Suhonos <m...@suhonos.ca> wrote:
Okay, I know it's cool to hate on OpenURL, but I feel I have to clarify a few 

It's not that it's cool to hate on OpenURL, but if you've really
worked with it it's easy to grow bitter.

Maybe if I put it that way, OpenURL sounds a little less crappy.

No, OpenURL is still crappy and it will always be crappy, I'm afraid,
because it's tremendously complicated, mainly from the fact that it
tries to do too much.

The reason that context-sensitive services based on bibliographic
citations comprise 99% of all OpenURL activity is because:
A) that was the problem it was originally designed to solve
B) it's the only thing it really does well (and OpenURL 1.0's
insistence on being able to solve any problem almost takes that
strength away from it)

The barriers to entry + the complexity of implementation almost
guarantee that there's a better or, at any rate, easier alternative to
any problem.

The difference between OpenURL and DublinCore is that the RDF
community picked up on DC because it was simple and did exactly what
they needed (and nothing more).  A better analogy would be Z39.50 or
SRU: two non-library-specific protocols that, for their own reasons,
haven't seen much uptake outside of the library community.


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