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ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/U 1. What ZeeRex is 2. How we got where we.

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Presentation on theme: "ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/U 1. What ZeeRex is 2. How we got where we."— Presentation transcript:

1 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/U 1. What ZeeRex is 2. How we got where we are 3. Gritty detail: the ZeeRex XML Schema 4. Friends and Neighbours and harvesting 5. Now what?

2 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com What ZeeRex is ZeeRex is a service registry for Z39.50 and SRW/U. In broadest outlines, it is similar to UDDI, the JISC IESR (Information Environment Service Registry), Talis's Silkworm Registry and many others. It differs from these in that it provides much more detail about the services' IR capabilities – e.g. what indexes can be searched, what record formats can be returned.

3 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com What ZeeRex is ZeeRex is a service registry for Z39.50 and SRW/U. In broadest outlines, it is similar to UDDI, the JISC IESR (Information Environment Service Registry), Talis's Silkworm Registry and many others. It differs from these in that it provides much more detail about the services' IR capabilities – e.g. what indexes can be searched, what record formats can be returned. (It is also slightly cheaper, and has the words D O n'T pA NiC! inscribed in large, friendly letters on its cover.)

4 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com ZeeRex records contain elements of both Service Description and Collection Description, plus some semantics. Examples: The service is on ir.vpsearch.org, port 80. The database is called dino and contains references for books and papers about dinosaurs and related animals. You can search it with the Dublin Core creator and title indexes and the Bath ISSN index, and retrieve XML records in MARCXML or Dublin Core format. What ZeeRex is

5 UNIQUE ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com ZeeRex records contain elements of both Service Description and Collection Description, plus some semantics. Examples: The service is on ir.vpsearch.org, port 80. The database is called dino and contains references for books and papers about dinosaurs and related animals. You can search it with the Dublin Core creator and title indexes and the Bath ISSN index, and retrieve XML records in MARCXML or Dublin Core format. What ZeeRex is

6 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com THE HOLY GRAIL: A generic Z39.50 or SRW/U client should be able to use a ZeeRex record to configure itself for a specific service. In the Z39.50-SRW/U universe, a record intended for this purpose is called an explain record. What ZeeRex is

7 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com How we got where we are ZeeRex is the third generation Explain service for Z39.50. Explain Classic (originally just called Explain) was in the text of the Z39.50 standard. It was ferociously complete, complex, and baroque, and impossible to implement. Explain Lite was created as part of the European ONE-2 project, and worked by unilaterally including a small XML document in the Z39.50 Init Response. It was too limited and ONE-specific for more meneral needs.

8 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com How we got where we are The ZeeRex specifications are the unfunded work of a multi-vendor working-group: Ray Denenberg Matthew Dovey Sebastian Hammer Alan Kent Mark Needleman Rob Sanderson Mike Taylor

9 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com How we got where we are The ZeeRex specifications are the unfunded work of a multi-vendor working-group: Ray Denenberg Matthew Dovey Sebastian Hammer Alan Kent Mark Needleman Rob Sanderson Mike Taylor

10 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com How we got where we are Splain, Explain<<<< Explain<<<< Explainable Explain E=mc2 (Explain Made Completely Comprehensible) XYZ (eXplain Your Z39.50) HenDriX (Half Decent eXplain) Explain – – Explain NG eXplainML Plain-X The name ZeeRex is an acronym: Z39.50 Explain, Explained and Re-Engineered in XML. If this seems contrived, that's because you haven't seen the other names that were considered:

11 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com The ZeeRex Schema: an overview The record consists of a wrapper (with a namespace, a unique identifier and a provenance statement), and six sections.

12 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com The ZeeRex Schema: serverInfo srw.cheshire3.org 8080 /l5r/ sOmEpAsSwOrD This section contains raw mechanical information needed to connect to the service. Authentication can be, or may consist of one or more of, and.

13 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com The ZeeRex Schema: databaseInfo Legend of the Five Rings A database containing complete descriptions of cards from the L5R collectible card game (CCG). Rob Sanderson azaroth@liv.ac.uk This section contains human-readable information about the database, constituting an elementary collection description.

14 2003-11-24 15:00:00 2004-03-12 13:14:03 This section describes the ZeeRex record itself, as opposed to the service it points to or the database it provides. The aggregation fields describe the provenance of ZeeRex records harvested from one ZeeRex database into another. ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com The ZeeRex Schema: metaInfo

15 The indexInfo, schemaInfo and configInfo sections contain detailed machine-readable information describing how the service can be used. It is not particularly human-readable. indexInfo indicates what indexes exist, what human-readable labels to use for them, and whether they can be used for search, scan and/or sort. schemaInfo specifies what XML schemas result-records can be provided in, and which schemas can be used for sorting. configInfo contains everything else, in a simple extensible format. ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com The ZeeRex Schema: protocol information

16 Anywhere anywhere Card Name name title ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com The ZeeRex XML Schema: indexInfo

17 Dublin Core Das Dublinkore Collectible Card Games schema ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com The ZeeRex XML Schema: schemaInfo

18 10 1 dc stem soundex There are three kinds of configuration element: setting – an aspect of server behaviour can't be changed. default – an aspect that is used unless overridden by client request. supports – something the server supports if requested. ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com The ZeeRex XML Schema: configInfo

19 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com Friends and Neighbours and harvesting Friends and Neighbours is (or was) a mechanism for discovering Z39.50 and SRW/U servers. The idea is that a server can support a database of ZeeRex records – perhaps skeletal – describing its friends. The friends can then be queried for more detailed information about themseleves, and for pointers to further friends. A crawler could walk the graph of links to harvest a large database of ZeeRex records, to be searched like Google.

20 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com Friends and Neighbours – a requiem Friends and Neighbours has gone unimplemented except for one or two toy proof-of-concept implementations. This is a TERRIBLE MISTAKE, since it provides an excellent way of implementing a distributed registry. I am pretty confident that one of the other groups working on registries will re-invent it some day soon.

21 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com Now what? It's not entirely clear where ZeeRex fits in the wider ecosystem. It's probably too late for ZeeRex to affect Z39.50 much. (Which is a shame, as it's exactly what Z39.50 needs.) SRW/U is dependent on it, and needs its detail. There are competing specifications that overlap with what it does (Service Descriptions, Collection Description). Some registries seem likely to embed it (NISO Metasearch, Talis Silkworm – maybe JISC IESR?).

22 ZeeRex – an Explain Mechanism for SRW/UMike Taylor mike@indexdata.com Thanks for listening! Image modified from Carr 1999, figure 4. Skull of Albertosaurus libratus in right right lateral view. (So not actually T. rex at all.)


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