This is to announce an open source release of a tool for generating unique
persistent digital object names and other identifiers. The tool, called
"noid" (nice opaque identifier), can be used as a major piece of an overall
identifier strategy no matter which naming scheme you choose (e.g., ARK,
DOI, Handle, LSID, PURL, or URN). The documentation, updated Nov 30,
is technical on the whole, but it starts with a general overview and
a brief tutorial section. This software release can be found at
Motivation for persistent identifiers and for ARKs can be found at
The "noid" (rhymes with void) tool creates minters, or identifier
generators, and accepts commands that operate them. Once created,
a minter can produce persistent, globally unique names for documents,
databases, images, vocabulary terms, etc.
Properly managed, minted identifiers can be used as long term durable
information object references within naming schemes such as ARK, PURL,
URN, DOI, and LSID. At the same time, alternative minters can be set
up to produce short term names; for example, transaction identifiers
and compact web server session keys. These are some of the ways in
which the California Digital Library is using noids.
A minter can bind arbitrary metadata to identifiers with individual
stored values or rule-based values. Included are instructions for
setting up a URL interface and a name resolver. Based on open source
Berkeley DB databases, minters are extremely fast, scalable, reliable,
and easy to create, and they have a small technical footprint.
Comments are welcome.
John A. Kunze [log in to unmask] California Digital Library
415 20th St, 4th Floor +1 510 987 9231 University of California
Oakland, CA 94612-3550 fax:510 893 5212 Office of the President