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Technical Standards for the JISC IE (part 2)

Which standards are relevant to the JISC IE today? The JISC IE Technical Standards document has not been updated for some years. If this sort of document is considered to be useful still, then it needs to be brought up to date. The rest of this post will consider the standards indicated in the original document and give suggestions for what might be added, changed or deprecated from this list. Comments are very welcome on this. For the sake of clarity, 'original document' means the Technical Standards document in its current revision which was last edited 16/05/2006. The standards listed in the original document were structured into functional grouping as below. We might not use exactly these groupings or names in future, but they seem to me to be sufficiently handy to use here: Web standards and file formats Standards listed:

  • HTTP 1.1,WAI,HTML/XHTML,CSS,DOM,URI,IMS Content Packaging Specification,METS

One of the easier groups perhaps, with standards such as HTTP 1.1 being so ubiquitous that it would be idle to argue against their importance to the JISC IE. The clear statement invoking 'must' and 'should' around the different levels of WAI compliance would seem to continue to be appropriate. The area which might need revision is the recommendation to use IMS Content Packaging or METS for packaging content into re-deployable objects. It could be argued that this sort of packaging, once seen as a clear path towards encouraging the re-use of content, is not perhaps such a priority in an environment which has begun to favour access to atomic content artefacts with a view to remixing at the point of need. Questions:

  • To what extent has aggregation superseded packaging?
  • Should standards such as Atom be referenced here?
  • Is it sensible to create a new section combining packaging and aggregation as related approaches

Distributed searching Standards listed:

  • Z39.50,SRW/SRU,Bath Profile,UK LOM Core,IMS Digital Repositories Specification,Dublin Core

Distributed searching, as an approach, has been somewhat deprecated in general terms in favour of the harvest and index approach used by search engines such as Google. However, in the more library-oriented parts of the JISC IE protocols such as Z39.50 are still widely used today. Attempts over the years to replace this with more 'modern' technologies have met with limited success although SRW and SRU have had some take-up. Similarly SOAP which underpins SRW is, in some quarters, being deprecated in favour of a more RESTful approach such as that offered by SRU. Questions:

  • should we be advocating the continued development of distributed searching?
  • is the recommendation: "all JISC IE content providers should support either a distributed search interface or a metadata harvesting interface." still good?

Metadata Harvesting News and alerting Context-sensitive linking Transactional services Authentication and authorisation Metadata usage guidelines NB. Standards = protocols, standards, specifications, application profiles etc. The IE might identify core standards, e.g.:

  • HTTP
  • XML
  • RDF
  • UTF-8

Important, generic standards:

  • RSS/Atom
  • Dublin Core

Important, domain-specific standards:

  • Bibliographic standards
  • DOI

Standards being developed within the IE, e.g.:

  • SWAP etc.

Dr. Radut | blog_post_tf